Sunday, 28 December 2008

Have you recovered?

Well, thats Christmas done for another year, have you recovered from yours yet? We had an amazing day with all of the family round. We had both sets of parents plus aunts and uncles which gave us a real houseful. I just love having the family around me and the house filled with chatter and laughter and this year was fab as it was our first Christmas in our new house. Dinner turned out great too, being organised paid off as everything came together like clockwork.

I was spoiled rotten this year by Dave who treated me like a princess - as always! I was a very lucky girl and got so many gorgeous gifts but the best present of all was seeing Dave walk into the house followed by the kids - I nearly screamed for joy when I saw them. Dave's Mum and I both burst into tears because we haven't been 'allowed' to see them for over 6 months. It was magical to have them back in the house even if they were only allowed to stay for 30mins. It was as if no time had passed at all - they were right at home, everyone playing together and laughing. The best gift of all was when they both came to me of their own accord and gave me the biggest hugs and kisses to say goodbye - I thought my heart was going to burst! I held them so tight and really didn't want to let them go because we just don't know when we'll be allowed to see them again. It's so sad that they are denied these relationships, every child needs their extended family - its very, very sad.

When the kids had gone we spent the afternoon playing games, talking and laughing together which was really lovely - a great feeling of family and the real spirit of Christmas. It was very late before we called it a night after one of the best Christmases ever! So thats it for another year, next stop - the sales!!!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Its Christmas Eve, the veg are prepared and we must have the world's largest turkey waiting for us in the fridge and I have to confess to feeling as excited as the kids about waking up tomorrow!! For the first time ever I was completely organised and had the presents sorted ages ago and wrapped well before today so I am feeling really serene and completely ready. In a few hours we'll all be going out to the carol concert and Mass which has become a bit of a family tradition - it just wouldn't feel the same without it and the mugs of mulled wine we have when we get back home! It certainly gets us all into the Christmas spirit!!

I'd like to wish everyone a peaceful and happy Christmas - have a wonderful day!

Monday, 22 December 2008

End 2008 in style!

What better way to end 2008 than to put all of your best memories of the year into one book? Thats exactly what Dave did when he designed this gorgeous mini book using Making Memories chipboard numbers. I have to admit to being absolutely blown away when I saw what he had made, he's obviously been paying attention when I've been working! LOL!! Each of the pages of the book is slightly larger than the last and the numbers are staggered through the book so that when it is closed they overlap but can still be read easily. He added an acrylic page between each chipboard one and has included photos from the last year to make a really beautiful collection of memories.

I have put together packs of the '2008' numbers and have added them to the shop today at a special price if you'd like to do something similar - you may even have time to make it as a Christmas gift!! You can find the numbers at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk under 'chipboard'.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Kit subscriptions are now open!

Today I have finally been able to open the subscriptions once again for the monthly kits. Its been a little while coming because we buy a few months in advance to keep ourselves organised! I have added the subscription to the shop today so anyone who has been waiting to get our kits can now sign up.

If you didn't know, our subscribers get 2 kits posted out to them each month which include cardstock, patterned papers and co-ordinating products to make a single or double page layout. We also include full step-by-step instructions for a sample page so you need never be stuck for ideas. The subscription includes P&P and anyone who subscribes gets free P&P on their online shopping because we can pop it in with your kits!

The pic above is of the first of the January kits which is in cool and sophisticated tones of cream, blue and brown. The kit includes cardstock, 3 double sided patterned papers, a whole pack of flock alphabet stickers and a whole pack of lace flowers. We were really excited to find the flowers as they come in masses of layers which can be pulled apart to produce the prettiest delicate lace flowers we've seen! Getting a whole pack of these means you'll be sure to have some left over to play with after - how cool is that?

As its so close to Christmas we have been asked about the subscription as a Christmas gift and we have been able to produce a gorgeous gift voucher so that the person receiving it has something to open on Christmas Day. Someone out there has a VERY thoughtful other half who asked for this!! We can of course do this for anyone else who is interested but you'll need to get your skates on so we can get it in the post (we have a Post Office which opens on a Sunday AND has collections - so we have an extra day!).

Numbers for the subscription are limited so you may need to be quick to be sure you get on the list at www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk

Friday, 12 December 2008

A bit of Christmas Magic

Christmas pages have always been a bit of a nightmare for me, I never seem to get great pictures on the day and its more important to me that everyone has a good time than I get good photos! But I like to have Christmas layouts, even if its just one every year and this year I found this gorgeous double page 'Christmas Magic' kit from Little Yellow Bicycle. I put this double page together using photos of the characters at the Dickens Festival - they were fabulous and really made the event special.

This kit is fab as it contains everything you need to make these pages including papers, stickers, chipboard, ribbons, brads and the photo mounts together with full instructions for this design. Its quick and straightforward to put together which is perfect for this time of year when everyone seems to be madly busy! They are only £9.99 each which won't break the bank either!!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

My back has gone!

I'm flat on my back unable to move after my back went early this morning. The doctor has just left and Dave has to pick up my prescription in an hour or so but until then I am in agony! I can't move without my back going into spasm, its no fun at all.

I'm really upset because its Kent club this evening and I was so looking forward to seeing everyone as its our last club before Christmas. Pauline is going to run club for me tonight so everyone can still get together and Mum is coming over to look after me for a few days. Everyone is being so lovely and I hate being laid up - fingers crossed that this settles down as quickly as it has flared up.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Back from a weekend in Nottingham


We're just back from a fab weekend away visiting Dave's Dad and his partner in Nottingham (well, actually just outside but close enough!). We've seen a lot of them recently as they were down staying with us last weekend and we had planned a trip up to them ages ago but it has been really lovely to spend time together. I've been to Nottingham a few times but never had the time to just wander and enjoy it - there is a great outdoor ice rink in the centre and loads of German market stalls. We had a great time looking at all the gorgeous things for sale and then warmed up with a steaming mug of Gluhwein - our cockles were very warm after!!
This was the first time I had met the extended family and we all got on really well - we put X Factor on and opened a few bottles of wine and it was as if we'd known each other for years! I laughed so much that I was aching when we left!! I've been lucky with my 'In Laws' in the past and feel that I have been really blessed this time as we all get on so well and really like each other.
I was told more than a few stories over the weekend (most of them horror stories about their experiences with Dave's ex), they really can't stand her but feel that they have to be nice in order to get to see the Grandchildren. They even felt obliged to buy her a Christmas present because they were afraid that she'd kick off and stop them seeing the kids. Its the same with Dave's Mum and step-Dad really, they felt they had to be nice just to keep contact when they really despise her. His Dad takes the view that they can put on a brave face a couple of times a year when they come down - but they really don't like it. Shame really, life is too short for this sort of thing.
This weekend was a much-needed break after the hectic past few weeks and we were well and truly spoiled. I'm really looking forward to going up again!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

2nd kit for December

I'm a little later than I would like to be with the December kits but the past few weeks have been crazy! Here's the second of the sample pages for this month and kits will start shipping tomorrow so subscribers should get them over the weekend or early next week depending on the post in your area. As I'm on a roll I'm getting stuck straight into the kits for January and we have 2 gorgeous kits lined up with one that includes a set of 5 acrylic stamps!!

I used a couple of 6" x 4" portrait photos on this second page - we took these at the Dickens Festival in Rochester last year and they make me smile every time because Mel was trying to catch the snow machine snowflakes on her tongue not realising that they were soap! If you fancy a day out to get you into the Christmas spirit then I can highly recommend it and I think its taking place this coming weekend.

I'm off to pick up some mince pies for the Essex club girls this evening, I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone and having a laugh as its our last club before Christmas!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Lost and Found

We've started sorting through the boxes of stock from Saturday's crop and I've come across the lost property bag so I thought we'd try and re-home these few items!

We found a pair of glasses just outside the doors of the main hall when we came to pack up. They have brown frames and are in a red soft Specsavers case. I'm thinking someone MUST be missing these by now! If they are yours, you're probably squinting to see the screen right now! LOL!

We also came across a large pair of purple handled scissors in the Cricut Jukebox when we packed it away. I have favourite pairs of scissors and would hate to be parted from mine so if they are yours let me know and I'll reunite you!

The subscription kits are going in the post this week so I can always pop these items in with your kit if you came from a distance away. So far we have always managed to match up lost property so just give me a shout and we can get your missing items back to you.

Monday, 1 December 2008

December kit #1

Whew! I can hardly believe that we're in December, the crop is over and I'm having to think about the December club kits! The crop was great fun, we had a great mix of people and there was so much laughter in both the main cropping room and the classroom. My back went on Friday morning and we were all terrified that I'd be whisked off to hospital exactly as I was this time last year! Fortunately I was able to get to my GP straight away who filled me up with super-duper stuff that made the pain bearable and I spent the weekend in a very happy place!!

I am so incredibly grateful to Dave and Lynda who got the shop organised and loaded this end - and to the amazing Pauline who ran everything with military precision once we arrived at the hall. I just couldn't do these days without these three and I really appreciate everything they do - you all deserve a big kiss!!

I also want to say thank you to Claire for a fab class - you rock girl and I can't wait to see what you have in mind for us next time! I've already been threatened with all sorts if someone doesn't get into your next class, I think thats a good thing!! LOL!!

A special thank you to my amazing Kent girls who always turn up early and get stuck into the setting up - Maria, Sue and Karen. I love you to bits and my back loved you even more this weekend! All this and they brought ME presents too, somethings just not right there!

Anyway, onto the December club kit. Everyone will get 2 kits this month despite there only being one club night in both Kent and Essex - unless you really fancy scrapbooking on Christmas Eve?? Both kits are Winter themed and this will be the kit that I'll be teaching at club. The second kit instructions will be sent out before club and all the kit subscribers will get them in the kits as usual.

The sample uses a 6" x 8" landscape photo but you could opt for a smaller pic or use two 6" x 4" portraits. I'll be bringing along my heat gun as I heat embossed the outside edges to give a glossy, frosty effect. If you have a heat gun plus clear embossing ink and powder you might want to bring it along - it will save you having to wait for everyone else. I'll also have some snowflake stamps and white StayZon so you can stamp your title letters if you want to. You will need 3d foam pads, a brown and a white inkpad - thats all! The templates for the snowflakes and swirls will be in your kit - I tried not to make them too fiddly but they are worth it!



Friday, 28 November 2008

Last class peek for tomorrow

Those who you were may have been keeping count on the peeks will have noticed that we were one short - here's the last one and its the replacement for the Wassail class which failed to arrive. Everyone who was booked in for the Wassail class has been contacted and is aware that we'll be running a replacement but it also means that we'll have a few places available on this class for anyone who would like it. You can book your place when you arrive, just see Pauline in the shop and she will sort everything out.

Cosmo Cricker 'Souvenir' class

This kit uses the 'Souvenir' range from Cosmo Cricket in rich shades of red, gold and green - very Christmassy but without a holly leaf or bauble in sight!! The page is perfect for a Christmas photo but it isn't a specifically Christmas page, the journaling cards and pack of cardstock stickers included in the kit have more of a travel theme to them but the page is very adaptable. You'll need a single 5" x 7" landscape photo for the class - the sample was printed in sepia but thats not essential and you can add a photo on after if you don't have time to get one ready!

This kit includes a whole pack of 7gypsies acrylic stamps so you'll need to bring a stamp block with you and it'll be a lot faster if you have your own heat gun as there is also Distress Embossing powder in your kit. Chuck in a pack of 3d foam pads and you'll have everything you need!

I hope you're all set and ready to go - see you in the morning!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Final preparations underway!

We are working like mad here getting the last few bits and bobs done for the crop on Saturday, its amazing how many little details there are that need to be remembered, its like spinning plates! Anyway, I remembered that this will be the first time for a few who are coming on Saturday and so I thought it would be an idea to put the address of the hall here so you can pop it into your satnav to help you find the place. Here goes........


Meopham Village Hall, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0AT

Its a single storey white building very close to the road but it is easy to miss and there aren't any real landmarks to look out for (which is no help at all!). The turning into the car park is directly behind the speed camera sign and there is masses of space to park. The hall is fully accessible which also helps for wheeling in trolleys and totes.


I've discovered that we have at least 4 birthdays being celebrated on Saturday which should make for a great party atmosphere! I'm really looking forward to it and hope you are too!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

More class peeks!

Here we go with a couple more peeks for the classes on Saturday........

Tres Jolie
The Tres Jolie kit is really soft and pretty and would work well with female heritage photo or something romantic or pretty. It needs to be around 7" x 5" and portrait would work best. You'll also need to pack a soft pink or coral inkpad (the sample uses ColorBox Rose Coral) and some 3d foam pads.
One Way Only
This kit brings together soft green, soft yellow and white with a punch of orange - a really fresh combination of colours that work with a variety of photos. The arrow die-cuts in the kit call for a theme that is linked to direction or movement (the sample is titled 'Going Up'). You'll need two photos, one 7" x 5" and the second 3" x 4" and both are portrait. Pack some 3d foam pads and a soft green inkpad (the sample used ColorBox Lime Pastel).

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Next batch of peeks

Here we go with three more class peeks for the crop on Saturday............

Prima Pinks
The first of today's peeks is for the Prima Pinks kit which includes a whole tin of gorgeous pink hydrangeas so we'll be creating a double page layout to use as many as possible! You'll need five 6" x 4" portrait photos in a theme. The sample uses wedding photos but you can use absolutely anything as long as you're happy for them to be mixed with lots of pretty flowers. You'll also need 3d foam pads and a dark brown inkpad (the sample used Memories Creamy Coffee).
Green with Envy
In the Green with Envy class you'll learn a fab technique that will allow you to make four layouts in one, each one completely different and all at the flick of your wrist! You'll need some quite specific sizes of photos if you want to get it done on the day but the real wow factor is the technique. Bring along a 6" x 9" landscape photo that can be sliced through 3" from one end (it doesn't matter which end), a 6" x 9" portrait photo that can be sliced through 3" from either the top or bottom, a 6" x 6" square that stays intact and a 6" x 6" that can be sliced in half vertically. Don't panic about the photos - you can always add them after! The colours are soft greens so they will work well with lots of different types of photos.
You'll also need a green inkpad (the sample used ColorBox Olive Pastel) and some 3d foam pads.
Star of the Show
In Star of the Show you'll get six photos onto one 12x12 layout and use stamping, transparencies and buttons to embellish your page. This colourful page uses five 6" x 4" portrait photos and a 7" x 5" landscape photo. If you have a 1.25" circle punch it would be an advantage but there will be punches available to use in the class. You'll also need a blue and a red inkpad (the sample uses ColorBox Prussian Blue and Maroon) plus some 3d foam pads.

Monday, 24 November 2008

First set of crop class peeks

I thought I'd spread out the class peeks over a few days this week so that there isn't a mad rush to get your photos together, you can just do a few each day. We have nine classes running on Saturday so I'll put up 3 classes a day (isn't O level maths a wonderful thing!! LOL!)

Heidi Swapp 'Life is a Journey' class
The first class of the day will be this gorgeous page designed by Claire and although the papers are travel themed she has cleverly made the page much more generic by titling it 'Life is a Journey' which gives you much more scope to choose photos. You'll need to bring four to five 6" x 4" portrait photos for this class along with a black inkpad and black journaling pen, a couple of eyelets, a Cropodile or eyelet tools, a corner rounder and a sponge applicator (a small make up sponge will do).
We R Memory Keepers
In our second class you'll learn a fab technique to make your own embellishments that will save you a fortune! The page design uses two 6" x 4" portrait photos (sample pics were printed in sepia which matched the papers beautifully) and you'll need to bring along a dark brown inkpad, a sanding block or piece of sandpaper, a paper pricker, 3d foam pads and some small crystals or brads for flower centres.
Daisy Ds 'Romance'
Next up we have a soft and romantic page kit that uses a single 6" x 4" landscape photo. You'll also need a soft grey inkpad (Anna Griffin Grey was used for the sample) and some 3d foam pads. Your photo doesn't have to be romantic and it would be perfect for a heritage photo!
I hope this batch has whetted your appetite and got you thinking about the weekend, the countdown has well and truly started now!!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Last 3 crop classes on sale tonight

The last three classes for the crop on 29th of this month go on sale tonight at 8pm! There is something for everyone in this selection from bright and colourful, to fresh and clean and through to soft and romantic.
The first class is 'Star of the Show' and the kit includes 5 patterned papers, cardstock, 2 transparencies, a title die-cut, a whole box of buttons and an acrylic stamp. The colours are bright and fun and will work with a variety of different subjects.
The second class is 'Tres Jolie' which translates as 'very pretty' which is exactly how I'd describe this kit. The colours are soft and sophisticated - rich cream, soft salmon and touches of brown and blue. The kit includes 4 double sided patterned papers, cardstock, flowers, a die-cut, a journaling block, a transparency, a whole pack of adhesive pearls and a whole pack of shimmery alphabet stickers. You could choose to go heritage or modern with this kit - either way would look stunning!
The last class of the day is fresh and clean in white, spring greens, yellows and a dash of orange. The kit includes cardstock, 4 double sided patterned papers, a 12x12 sheet of die-cuts, a whole pack of ribbons, a pack of flowers and a pack of glittery chipboard alphas.
There are limited numbers of all three kits and so you'll need to be quick to avoid being disappointed. This is it for the crop classes, there are a lot of them this time so you might need to think about packing a can of Red Bull or something similar to help you make it through the day if (like me) you're doing all of them!! We'll be opening booking for the next crop very soon - watch this space!!



Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Last classes for crop on sale tomorrow

Just a quickie to let you know that the last classes for our crop on the 29th November will go up tomorrow evening at 8pm. One of the kit items took its time getting here from the US, hence the delay but now we're good to go! I'll get some pics up here before the classes go onto the shop so you can take a peek at the contents and colours to decide if they are for you.

Must dash - I have a million and one things to do before club tonight!!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Second kit for November



I don't know where the days are going but they seem to be flying past at the moment - its always the same when you're busy!! Anyway, here's the second kit for November in my favourite colourway of blue and brown. The kit contains cardstock, 4 double sided patterned papers, a pack of three flocked chipboard titles, templates and a chalk inkpad. I added some cream flowers from my stash but they can easily be made from what is in the kit. There are also a few brads added along with 3d foam pads but thats about it! The chipboard titles have three different words on, mine said 'Laughter', 'Smile' and 'Friends' but there are a couple of other options (Love, Always, Forever and Precious, All Mine, Miracle) so there should be something for everyone and we can swap around at club until we're happy.

My photo is 7" x 5" landscape but you could go slightly bigger or even use a couple of 6" x 4" portrait pics (or more smaller ones) if you prefer. The 'twiddly bits' were cut on the Cricut and for those who come to any of my clubs I'll have the Cricut with me to save time and swearing!!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Amazing Kanye West show!!


We were lucky enough to get tickets to see Kanye West's Glow in the Dark show last night and it was brilliant! It was a real 'show' but without all the usual dancers etc - just him and an incredible digital backdrop that had us mesmerised.

We were up and dancing almost from the start and the atmosphere was great with everyone singing along at the top of their voices. The highlights for me were 'Golddigga' and 'American Boy' - Estelle even joined him on stage! The decibel level went through the roof when she started to sing and Dave was chuffed to bits because thats probably his favourite song.


He sang for over 2 hours and finished with his new track which sounded so great with thousands of us singing along with him of course. We're both feeling it today though, I'm feeling tired and my voice is very croaky, poor Dave is shattered as he's working early shifts this week but it was definitely worth every second!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Free class



I've signed up for an online class which is something I never normally do but this one just grabbed me - and its free!! Its the 'Stories In Hand' class from Jessica Sprague which is all about collecting together stories about your life in one place with 3 separate sections for your roots, your family and yourself. Its all designed to fit into a 6x6 binder that you can either buy or make yourself (perfect for using up your stash).

The class is running over the next 2 weeks and will have loads of prompts to help get the important stories. I'm so looking forward to doing this as I know there are still loads of stories in my family that I haven't even heard never mind scrapped. In many ways this little book could end up being more important to me than my scrapbook albums!

Today is day one and the front cover and inside dividers have been released as .PDFs which you then just print onto A4 plain card and trim to size - the patterned paper background is included!


If you fancy joining me, you can sign up at www.jessicasprague.com - have fun!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Paper storage trays


I've had quite a few enquiries about 12x12 paper storage trays recently and promised to put a pic on here so that everyone could see what I was talking about. I love these trays as they stand alone without the need for an expensive cabinet or shelving to hold them. Plus being clear they make it very easy to see what you have which is always a good thing! I had a stack of them in my office but someone fell in love with them and bought them then and there and I had to let them go!!

At £5 each they aren't the cheapest storage option available but they are very sturdy and easy on the eye - now who does that remind me of??!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

November kit #1


Our first kit for November uses the colours of the season, rich reds and golds - and lots of them! We are using the gorgeous Core'dinations colour core cardstock and sanding it which highlights the texture of the card and reveals the colour inside which is totally cool!! The kit includes 4 and a half sheets of patterned paper (the half sheet is a long story but better to have half a sheet more eh?), 2 sheets of cardstock, a double pack of Daisy Ds transfer tapes and a template plus of course full step-by-step instructions for the sample page.
You'll also need some 3d foam pads, a gold inkpad (I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Scattered Straw) and some brads. You'll also need to grab a small piece of fine sandpaper or a sanding block - he'll never notice its gone!! I added a couple of red and blue flowers from my stash but there is enough red card to create your own and they aren't essential. Be warned though, there is a little bit of cutting out of patterned paper but what else would you expect?!!

The photo on the sample is a non-standard 5.5" x 7" landscape but you could also opt to use two smaller portrait photos if you prefer.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!!

We have a bit of a tradition of always carving a pumpkin for Halloween and I have a large orange veg looking at me every time I walk through the kitchen reminding me that we have to get on with it!! There's also a certain expectation that our pumpkin will be something special - no triangle eyes and zigzag mouths allowed! After exhausting a book full of templates I began to feel a bit desperate for inspiration and searched the web and found some amazing sites with free templates. Last year we had a pirate (I think it was inspired by the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie) and in the past we've had tombstones, skulls and even Scooby Doo!! I've printed off a few ideas for this year and we'll see what takes our fancy. The other bonus is I have a great recipe for pumpkin pie which is absolutely delicious and we toast the pumpkin seeds for a snack after - we get our money's worth here!! Have fun tonight and have a spooky time!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

2 more classes up tonight!

We have two more classes going on sale tonight for our crop on Saturday 29th November and I've emailed out to everyone on the mailing list to let them know! I'll release them at 8pm so be sure to grab what you want quickly as you know that these tend to go very quickly!

First up is 'Green with Envy' - a fab layout kit in gorgeous shades of soft greens that would work with so many different types of photos. The kit includes cardstock, 5 patterned papers, a 12x12 sheet of co-ordinating stickers, a whole pack of flowers, an inkpad, a whole pack of ribbons and some brads. I will release the classroom places first and then I'll add the 'kit only' option for those who prefer to have the kit at the crop and complete it in their own time.

Our second release will be the project class and this time we're using the brand new and absolutely gorgeous 'Wassail Calendar'. The kit includes an 8x8 spiral bound calendar, 8x8 adhesive chipboard sheets, 8x8 die-cut sheets, stickers, an 8x8 sheet of rub-ons plus we're adding flowers and brads so you have something absolutely gorgeous. This would make a perfect Christmas gift! This kit is only £15 which is quite a saving on the RRP of £19.99 of the kit alone never mind the extras we are adding to it - places are VERY limited in this class!!I'll have news of the last classes very soon - can you believe it will be November in a couple of days??!!!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More classes go up tomorrow!

Just a quickie before I have to leave for club in Kent this evening - I'll be releasing 2 more classes tomorrow evening for the crop on 29th November. One will be the project class (and its both fab value and a great idea for a gift - but I'm keeping mine!!) and the other is a page class stuffed full of good things.

I'll put the kit pics up here tomorrow nice and early so you can see what we'll be using before the classes go on sale at 8pm. I'll email out to let everyone know about the class release too!

Looking forward to seeing the Kent girls as it seems like ages since we all got together - these 5 week months really throw me!!

By the way - no takers for the cool bag left at the crop yet - if it's yours just give me a shout and we can reunite you!!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Lost & Found!


I've been sorting through the shop stock and in a box that came back from the crop I found a pink coolbag complete with snacks! I'd love to reunite it with its owner so if its yours just let me know and I can arrange to get it to you.

Friday, 24 October 2008

New stuff!



We've had another delivery today and it was very exciting as the new BasicGrey Wassail arrived!! I've been waiting particularly for the Wassail calendar kits to arrive and I wasn't disappointed - they are lush! As well as an 8x8 calendar, you get an 8x8 sheet of rub-ons, two 8x8 sheets of coloured chipboard shapes and words, an 8x8 sheet of coloured stickers, two 8x8 sheets of die-cuts plus 2 additional smaller sheets of die-cuts together with full step-by-step instructions for each page of the calendar. All you need is a selection of 6x4 photos and you're good to go!

I think this would make a perfect Christmas gift - it has that personal touch that money just can't buy! I can start crossing names off the gift list now - I know that Dave's Mum will LOVE it and there are a few others who would want one as well!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Core'dinations antiquing tutorial

These little clips from Core'dinations are great for showing just what this cardstock can do! Crumpling is a great simple technique and when its combined with sanding it creates a great end result. There are some really lovely heritage colours in this range which look even better when they are distressed. I've been looking out a few heritage photos to use with this antiquing method plus some gorgeous new flowers that have just arrived from Canada (all will be revealed in the New Year!).

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Another Core'dinations tutorial

There's more you can do with Core'dinations colour core cardstock than simply sanding it so I thought it might prove useful to post their tearing tutorial here as well. Its easy to forget the simple techniques such as tearing and I know I'm occasionally guilty of assuming that everyone knows how to tear cardstock to achieve different effects! I'm so loving the lighter coloured core that this cardstock has and it feels like ages since I sanded and tore cardstock, I'm now covered in a light coating of dust from the first November kit!!

Monday, 20 October 2008

November Kit #1



The November club kits are here and are currently being packed ready to ship at the end of this month. We have had to close the subscription list as we have once again sold out but we are operating a waiting list and we hope to be able to expand once again and open subscriptions. I'm so sorry for disappointing a few but I will keep you informed.

I also wanted to say huge 'thank you' to Libby & Jackie who very kindly invited us along to their crop yesterday to support our 'Think Pink' fundraising. We had a fab time and it was great to catch up with some old friends! Our running total now stands at over £340 and its still going up! I have some new pink things to add to the site and hope to get them up over the next day or so - every pink item sold generates a 10% donation from us to 'Think Pink'.

Our November kit uses the gorgeous Core'dinations colour core cardstock and I have had great fun sanding to distress it. This card is so lovely to use and I was really impressed with the results you can get with it. I thought it might be useful to add this video from Core'dinations which demonstrates how to sand their cardstock - just in case you've never done it before.....

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Classes up tonight at 8pm!

First of all, we have a couple of places on our kit subscription as we have expanded once again! We've been steadily growing since we launched and are sending out literally hundreds of kits every month now!! For just £15 a month you'll get 2 kits sent out together that include tons of papers, cardstock and embellishments plus full step-by-step instructions for sample pages. This isn't a box of stuff to store away but two generous kits aimed at completing at least 2 pages - perfect for getting your photos scrapbooked quickly. The £15 subscription fee includes P&P and its simplicity itself to cancel - just give us 30 days notice!

I also wanted to give a little reminder that the next 2 classes for 29th November go up tonight at 8pm! I will have additional kits for the Daisy Ds class and as soon as the classroom places sell out I will release the kit only. There will be no additional kits available for the Prima class so once they have gone, that will be it!

I am having a play with the blog today and have given it a bit of a face-lift. I love how the photos 'pop' on the black background and the flourishy vines are just my cup of tea (if they were on paper you know I'd be cutting them all out!! LOL!!).

We had a blast at club in Essex last night and our Breast Cancer fundraising total now stands at £330!! Thank you to all the girls last night who took home loads of pink goodies - and Jackie who took home a shed load of flowers!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

2 more classes for the November 29th crop

Things are very quickly getting back to normal here and its back down to the business of preparing for another crop. Our last crop of the year will be held in Kent on Saturday 29th November and we aim to finish the year in style! We have some really gorgeous kits for those of you who are attending and we are getting excited about everything we have yet to show you!

I'll be releasing another 2 classes for November tomorrow evening at 8pm and these 2 are simply divine......


First up is a Daisy Ds kit using the 'Romance' line and once again we love what we have put into this kit! It includes;cardstock, lace, 3 patterned papers, a whole pack of co-ordinating cardstock tags and a whole pack of co-ordinating vintage diecuts that include journaling boxes and titles. This is a stunningly beautiful kit, very delicate and soft and would work so well with so many different types of photos - I can't wait to get working with it!!


Our second release is a really rich kit using papers and flowers by Prima in tones of deep pink. This is a very sophisticated kit, so no need to be scared of the fact that it is pink!! The kit contains cardstock, 3 double sided patterned Prima cardstock, a whole tin of Prima hydrangeas, a stunning Heidi Swapp embellishment and crystals. Places will be limited for this class so be sure to grab your place quickly!

I'll have 2 more classes for you to take a peek at very soon including the class that Dave will be teaching and an amazing project!!

Take care, K :o)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Tickled pink and chuffed to bits!



Well, what can I say? We had such an amazing day yesterday at the crop, the atmosphere was lovely and everyone was so incredibly generous - it was fab!! Everyone entered into the spirit of the day and we had a sea of pink around us - including Dave! I just want to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who joined us and made it such a great day.

There are are few people I want to say special thanks to, who went over and above - firstly to Claire for her fabulous class which was a huge hit! I love your work hun and can't wait to see your next one!! To the girls who came in early and stayed late to help with setting up, especially Sue B and Maria. Its the unglamorous side of the crop days and yet you're always the first to offer - thank you so much, I love you to bits!! To Mum for all her hard work over the past 2 weeks packing kits, pricing stock and sorting out what seemed to be millions of pink flowers!!! To Pauline for running the shop single-handed, I really couldn't do these day without her and I can forget about that side of things and concentrate on the classes which is a huge weight off my mind - thank you millions and enjoy NYC!! And I have to say thanks again to Karen and Sue for the wonderful gift of pink champagne, strawbs and choccy - naughty but very, very nice and very much appreciated.

The highlights of the day for me were the amazing raffle which raised £120, it was great fun and we had some gorgeous prizes donated. Also up there was the auction of our limited edition breast cancer TP T-shirt which was purchased by Karen E for £15 and she then wore for the rest of the day! And I don't think I'll forget Heather bravely taking off her bra in front of everyone and winning a place at the next crop - you made Dave's day!! LOL!!!

So how did we do? At the end of the day when we counted up, we have raised the amazing total of £300 and we're still going!! All sales of our pink stock in October will generate a donation of 10% and we still have 2 more club nights so I hope to have an even higher figure by the end of the month. I am chuffed to bits at the total to date - thank you everyone for your generosity and support!!

Can I ask everyone who took photos to send me copies as Think Pink have asked for pics and if anyone wants any photos just let me know and I can send them out to you.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Ready to get really pink?



Well, we're just about set for the crop tomorrow! We had a delivery of Breast Cancer fundraising bits and bobs which included the pins which we'll have for sale tomorrow for £1. I've added them to the online shop as well so even if you can't join us you can still help to support this fab cause.

I've decided to go the whole hog and really have fun with the pink theme - I'll be decked out in my Think Pink t-shirt plus a rather fetching pink stetson and huge pink feather boa!! Funnily enough, Dave wasn't that keen on wearing a feather boa - and even less impressed with the idea that we sponsor him to wear a sparkly pink thong for the day!!! He's decided on a pink shirt (and matching boxers!!). If we can raise enough money tomorrow, I may be able to persuade him to show you them! LOL!!

We've had some gorgeous new pink stock delivered and I'm having to beat Mum off with a stick to stop her grabbing it before we even get to Kent! I have to admit that I don't blame her, there are more than a few items that I'd like to offer a new home to! We only have one small problem to sort out - the balloons. I have about 50 balloons that I want to fill with helium to decorate the room and I forgot to pick up a balloon kit from Costco last night. I've made a few calls and its about £1 a balloon to get them filled locally so it looks like we'll be back down to Costco tonight!

Anyway, for those of you who are joining us for the crop tomorrow, dig out something pink to wear to show your support! It can be wild and crazy or plain and simple - we'd just love to see everyone in pink and having fun! If you are in the area, you'd be more than welcome to pop in and see us and offer us your support - the more the merrier I say!

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Thinking pinker!!


Every day now we're getting more and more deliveries - its so exciting!! We've specially ordered in some fabby new pink stuff so there will be loads to tempt those who are joining us for the crop on Saturday. One delivery today included some gorgeous huge pink punches - I have my eye on one that punches out four different shapes of brackets!!

I'll add everything that is left to the shop site on Monday(ish) but for the time being we have a new tag book which is a Think Pink fundraising product. These fab chipboard books come with 5 large pages and four incrementally smaller ones all bound together by a large bookring tied with luxurious pink ribbon. At £1 each, they are great value for money and will make a great 'tree present' for someone at Christmas (we can't ignore that it is rapidly approaching!!).

Please help us to support this amazing cause and THINK PINK!!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Think pink!!


As our crop on Saturday falls in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we've decided to think pink and raise a bit of extra money for the 'Think Pink' breast cancer fund. We'll be actively looking to raise money to fight breast cancer all day and you'll be able to help!

We'll have 'Think Pink' pins for sale in the shop, we'll be decorating the hall with pink ballons and donating money for every pink item sold in the shop! One of the girls coming along sent me a text today suggesting that we could all bring along the stash that we haven't used (and aren't really likely to!) and we'll have a trading table where you can get some new goodies for a donation - how does that sound? You just need to dig out some bits and bobs that you no longer want but someone else could use (one man's trash could be another one's treasure!!) and bring it along on the day. Even if you can't join us for the day but would like to help out, you can - we'll have the pins for sale online through the shop and we'll donate 10% of all pink things sold during October.

This is a cause that I am passionate about, we have had 2 of our club members diagnosed with breast cancer over the past few years and it has made us all very aware that this can happen to anyone. I'd love to raise a big chunk of money to help make a difference - so come on girls, THINK PINK!!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

2nd club kit for October



As promised to the girls at my Essex club tonight, here is the second club kit sample for October! Its very different form kit #1 - mainly in that there isn't anywhere near as much cutting out in this one!!

The kit includes 3 sheets of cardstock, 3 patterned papers, a whole pack of 3d foam alphabets, flowers, embroidery floss and a needle (so yes, there is a bit of sewing!). I used one 6"x4" landscape pic and a second 3"x4" one. You'll need some 3d foam pads, a few brads for the centres of the flowers and a blue inkpad - but thats it!

Don't be misled by the fact that the sample has baby photos on it, its not baby themed at all. One of the papers has some 'boy themed' text on it if you want to go that way but otherwise its pretty universal. This is another page I was considering using my Greek holiday photos on - white houses and blue shutters, they worked perfectly but I really wanted to use some pics of one of the latest additions to our family. Dave's cousin had twin boys two months ago and we went to see them at a day old. I forget just how tiny newborns are, I didn't really have a newborn - at 9lb 11oz Jack was virtually ready to go to school when he arrived!!

While I'm talking about babys - congratulations Sharon on your fab news, I am so pleased for you both xxx

Monday, 29 September 2008

Anglo-German relations have been restored!



After a really eventful week we waved a fond farewell to our two German exchange students on Saturday morning. For a moment there we thought they weren't going to be able to leave as their bus got completely lost and was over and hour late arriving to collect them! We ended up with 2 completely different kids for the last part of their stay, it was very apparent that their teacher had read them their fortune and they were a lot more fun and friendly to have around. They came home on Friday evening with 2 huge bouquets of flowers which was really lovely - then they dropped the bombshell that one of them had left their bag on the schoolbus and it had their id documents in it to get home! The bus company closed in 35 minutes and both Dave and I were up to our ears in work - talk about stressed out!

The whole trip seemed to be like this - one crisis after another so you can imagine that we breathed a small sigh of relief when they finally left. I expect the host families in Germany will have the same sort of things happening when our young men go out there in March but hopefully not a repeat of everything that we had!

We had a family wedding this Saturday and it was a really beautiful day. The weather was gorgeous and everyone was so happy for Dave's cousin Nettie and her new husband John as they've been together for about 10 years and no-one ever thought we'd see this day! Nettie looked beautiful - a traditional bride in a stunning dress and John scrubbed up well too! We partied the night away and finally fell through the front door at about midnight, absolutely shattered after what turned out to be a VERY long week. We have tons of pics so I'll have no shortage of photos for forthcoming classes!!

We spent yesterday completely on our own - no kids of any nationality and it was bliss! We had a very lazy late lunch out and just chilled out - it was like being on holiday and I'm back to work now feeling refreshed and ready to go (probably won't last though!! LOL!!).

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Daisy Ds at 25p a sheet!



daisy Ds are having a sale at the moment which means I've been able to get some fabulous paper at amazing prices which I'm able to pass on!! I've added the papers to the shop today and at 25p a sheet they are cheaper than the usual wholesale price - how bonkers is that!!

I used some of these papers a little while ago for a crop class and I've added the pic of the sample page here so you can see how they work together. The top of the page is a flap for hidden journaling or more photos - if you would like the instructions for this page just put a note in the comments box when you order your paper and I'll email it to you.

Update on the German exchange......we caught the two German students in bed together last night! We heard movement and talking just before we went up to bed and a few minutes later I knocked on the bedroom door to be told that she was on the phone and I was passed out the house phone. A minute or so later we heard more giggling and talking so Dave checked on the boy's room to find it empty. We both went into the girl's room to find them in the bed together - we were mortified! He was unceremoniously turfed out of there and back to his own room and we called their teacher to let him know what had happened. Needless to say we are both shattered today as we didn't really sleep well through worrying about it and having half an ear open all night! I didn't really expect this kind of thing at 13, I'm not naive enough to expect that there wouldn't be interest in the opposite sex but that they would be so blatant about it as to hop into bed together was a real shocker. Jack is going to get a talking to before he goes over on the return trip!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Letting go


Having a houseful of teenagers for this past week has been a bit of an eye-opener, there are lots of things that I thought were unique to Jack that I've discovered are pretty universal. For example, it usually takes about 2-3 days for his room to get to the state where I need to say something and the same is true of both of the two German students we've got staying! He's started communicating through grunts - they do too! He spends at least 15 minutes faffing about getting his hair right - so do they! And I thought that his volume control was stuck on high but apparently they all shout at each other all the time so thats normal I suppose!!

Jack arranged to meet up with some of the others taking part in the exchange so they could socialise and they all went bowling - when did my boy become able to organise something like that? What's going on? It has hit me over the past few weeks that he really is grown up, he's a young man - when did that happen?? I'm still scrapping photos of him as a baby!! I've got one hell of a lot of catching up to do! I think they call this letting go but its bloody hard when a part of you still thinks of them as the blue-eyed baby - I think they're going to have to prise my fingers apart to let go completely....... :o)

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Kit contents


I thought it might help if I posted the pic of all of the kit contents for kit #1 for October as there is quite a bit in this one and I'm sure I forgot to list all of it yesterday! The more I see it, the more I love this kit and although it looks like there are loads of photos on the sample, there are only three per page but you could use fewer and just bump up the size a bit (or you could go crazy with loads more smaller ones! LOL!!).

Things are quiet here - too quiet to be honest! Its very difficult having a conversation with our exchange students as we've got teenage hormones plus a foreign language acting as barriers to communication. Its a new experience being grunted at in German, I thought that it was unique to our house but apparently not!! LOL!! Judging by the state of their rooms right now, teenagers are the same wherever they may come from so we're just getting on as normal and hoping that they are enjoying themselves!! Bowling is on the agenda tonight......

Monday, 22 September 2008

Our first kit for October


Well, it's official - Summer is over and today is the first day of Autumn! I can't believe that its October next week and I'll be sending out the next batch of club kits!!

To whet your appetite I thought I'd post the pic of the first of the October kits and it is one of my favourites so far. We have a whole Making Memories 'Passport' kit for you this time which includes 6 sheets of patterned papers, alphabet stickers, border and embellishment stickers, 6 printed flowers and a few more bits and bobs! Unusually for me, I put together a double page layout and I'm really pleased with the result as I got a lot of pics on. I lost a lot of the photos from our holiday to Hawaii when my old PC died (am now backing onto an external drive regularly!!) but these were my favourite ones anyway so its great to get them all in one place. Jack looks so tiny in these - his voice has broken now and he's very much a young man, the time has flown by so quickly!!

For those of you who like to have the photo sizes, I used four 6" x 4" (more or less) portrait photos and two that were landscape. You'll need a creamy brown inkpad and a small pair of scissors because we do a lot of cutting out on this one! You'll need some 3d foam pads as well plus a few brads for the centres of the flowers but thats it!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Nickelback were amazing!



Jack has been desperate to see Nickelback live for such a long time and it was purely by chance that earlier in the year we were going to the Tukanhamun exhibit at the O2 and heard on the radio that they had just released a new date for the O2. We booked tickets when we arrived and it seemed like it was meant to be!

After waiting patiently for close to six months, he finally got to see his heroes last night and they were amazing but what was even better was the look on my boy's face, watching him as he sang his head off. In fact I was in tears at one point because he was absolutely captivated by it all. It was his first ever live gig and he has been saying that he's never going to forget the night for as long as he lives! We all really enjoyed ourselves, it was a real rock concert with pyro, flames shooting out of the stage, cannons shooting free stuff and free beer being thrown to the crowd not to mention some of the best music ever. The atmosphere was electric and Jack and I were singing our heads off for most of the time - he didn't even mind his embarrassing Mum getting up and dancing with him!! He had his heart set on a poster for his room and one particular tour t-shirt and was so lucky - he got the last one of each of them! (Guess what he's wearing today??).

Dave took over 600 photos and there's some great stuff in there so I feel at least one page coming on - who knows I may get to scrapbook something just for fun using these pics. I have some of the Marah Johnson tattoo papers and embellies somewhere - now they would be perfect!

I have the concert bug again, we've just booked tickets to see Kanye West in November, its not Jack's type of music so he's opted out so it looks like it'll just be us old fogeys going along then!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Germans have landed!



Completely against stereotype, the German exchange coaches arrived very late yesterday evening after a delay with the ferry and despite the fact that they had been on the go since 4am UK time, they were quite fresh. I think I'd be in desperate need of a cuppa and a bed but they were both fine - thats youth for you I suppose!

Over dinner we discovered that the 2 students didn't even know each other, never mind us so it has been a bit quiet as they are both shy. I could get used to the super polite manners they have though, I thought Jack was polite but they are in a whole other league! Hopefully they'll all start to relax as they get to know each other a bit better and have fun together. They are getting together with others from the exchange tonight as we'd previously booked tickets to see Nickelback at the O2. I hate to leave them so soon into their stay but they are really looking forward to it so hopefully its a win/win situation. Fingers crossed that we have good seats so I can get some pics to scrap!!

Going, going, gone!


It was hectic last night, we were at club for most of the evening and then it was back to release the classes for October and November. No sooner had I clicked to make them active than they started flying out - it really was amazing to watch! It wasn't long before all of the classroom places sold out so I have now released the kits only for both of the November classes so no need to panic if you missed them last night. These kits are still only for those booked onto the crop but if I have any left after the crop I will release them and let everyone know.

We are expecting our German exchange student Kylie this evening, in fact we have now been asked to host two students as one of the families pulled out with just 2 days to go. We are fortunate to have the spare rooms to accomodate both of them and I have a current CRB check which has become an essential requirement for school exchange programmes. The school didn't realise this fact until the beginning of this week which has caused all sorts of problems, I just hope it doesn't spoil this leg of the exchange for the students. So, we now have both Kylie and another boy staying with us for 10 days - a house full of teenagers, what have I let myself in for??!! I put together a gift bag to welcome Kylie and now I've got to put together something similar for a teenage boy. Kylie's was easy - we put in some fluffy slipper socks, travel sizes of all sorts of essential toiletries and a big bar of Dairy Milk chocolate but I'm a bit stumped about this second one. There aren't as many travel sizes for guys, he probably won't appreciate pink fluffy socks so I'm left with a bar of chocolate - what the heck do I add??

Off to put on my thinking cap.......

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

November Kent crop now open - plus classes tonight!

I've been getting numerous emails over the past week asking about the November crop and when it'll be open for booking and so we've added it to the shop today - so feel free to book away girls!!

To keep the momentum going I'll also be releasing 3 classes tonight, the final one for October and the first two for November. As I've got my club here in Essex this evening, the classes will go up at 10pm to give me time to get back and grab a cuppa before I plonk myself down in front of the computer again. As usual, here are the peeks of the kit contents so you can see what you'll be getting.....

First up (or should I say the last for Kent in October) is a gorgeous handbag album class based on a 7gypsies ringbound hardboard album. The kit comes complete with the album, 12 Laura Ashley patterned papers, the metal hardware for the handbag (metal handles, clips, fasteners etc) and co-ordinating fabric covered brads. The places in this class will be very limited and so we have to limit this one to those who will be staying for the class at 7pm in order to keep things as fair as possible. Mum has fallen in love with this one already and I don't blame her to be honest, it is really lovely!

The first class in November is using the Peasant collection from We R Memory Keepers. The green/cream and rust colourway will be perfect for autumnal photos (or even pumpkin shots if thats your thing!). We've added four double-sided patterned papers to the kit along with a 12x12 sheet of double-sided die-cut monograms and a whole bottle of Prima flowers - lots to play with in the class!!

The second class in November is from the Heidi Swapp 'World Traveller' range. These papers are in sophisticated beige, brown and black with burgundy swirls - plus they're double sided. Two of the papers in the kit have additional fold-outs - 3" x 12" strips with die-cuts in co-ordinating colours. We also added a travel themed journaling card, a whole pack of flowers and a whole pack of ribbons to the four papers and cardstock. I can't wait to start on this kit!

The classroom places will go on sale first and then we'll be releasing the kit only to those who are booked on the crop. Either way you should be able to get both of these but if you want to be in the classroom you'll need to be prompt as places sell very quickly - often in minutes!

Anyway, I hope you can join us in November, as its the last crop of the year for us, we'll be aiming to make it a great one with demonstrations and make & takes as well as the classes. The shop will be there are usual and we'll have an amazing raffle with a fab selection of prizes - all this for £10, bargain!! LOL!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Kent November crop goes on sale tomorrow plus classes


Just a quickie to let you know that I will be taking bookings for the November Total Papercrafts crop from tomorrow. The date is 29th November and the day runs from 10am to 8.30pm. The crop should be available to book from tomorrow morning through the shop as usual - just go to www.totalpapercrafts.co.uk and click on 'Crops & Classes' to find it.

I will also be releasing the first two classes for November and we have some beautiful things for you!! I have been packing kits this evening and am really excited with what we will have for you as there's a really nice mix of colours, designs and embellishments. The classes will go onto the shop at 10pm to give me time to get back fromthe Essex club tomorrow evening and grab a cup of tea before we kick off.

So why the picture of crutches? It's been a bit of a hectic day as Dave had an accident at work and spent the afternoon at the hospital and is now hopping about on crutches. Poor thing - he is in agony but fortunately nothing is broken. So best I get off and play nurse for him!