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 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!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Second club kit for September

Here we go with our second club kit for September - very bright and cheerful, this one makes me smile every time I look at it!! The kit includes two sheets of cardstock, three double sided patterned papers (with very cool things on the back like scallop edgings and alphabets!), a whole pack of colour rub-ons, a whole pack of 3d foam pads, a cat's eye inkpad and a template.

I used a 7" x 5" portrait photo - one I've had for a while but have never had bright enough papers for so I'm sure I'm not alone here. You could alternatively use a number of smaller ones if you wanted to get more onto your page. The rub-ons have got loads of designs on the sheet as well as letter blocks to spell 'Together'. I chose to only use a few to spell 'her' but if you're good at word puzzles you might be able to come up with a few more alternatives using these letters to make your title.

I used circle punches in a few sizes to create rings of patterned paper - ranging from 1.5" to 0.5" in size. I'll have mine with me at both the Kent and Essex clubs so don't worry about rushing out to buy them specially. Other than that, you won't be needing to bring anything else special except perhaps a pencil (which isn't that special really but not everyone has one in their tool kit).

See you soon :o)

Sunday, 14 September 2008


Now that I've rested up and recovered I wanted to pass on my thanks to some key people who made yesterday run so smoothly.....

First of all to Jackie who ran the shop for us all day. Thanks so much hun - you coped so well with all the challenges that came your way from a new and unusual cash till to the mad rush at the end when everyone wanted to pay.

I also wanted to say thanks to Mum and Dad who got everything set up so quickly that I turned around and it was all done! Jack was also a huge star, he set up the kitchen so well that after he left it still ran like clockwork. Jack and Dad spent a great day together doing 'guy things' down on the sea front as soon as the crop started so they weren't under our feet during the day!!

Dave was fab as classroom assistant (as usual), he knows what I need before I even say and he is completely on top of it all. I don't think I could teach for so long without his support and I am so grateful, thank you darling xx

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who came along yesterday, some from very far away! It was lovely to see you all and hopefully it won't be too long before we can do it all over again! I'm looking at a date in February for the next Essex crop - watch this space for more details, in the meantime we have the Kent crops to prepare for........

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Dog tired!!

They think its all over - well it is now!! We're home, unpacked and unwinding after a great day at our crop. It was fab to be literally a few minutes from home because I had more than a few blonde moments and forgot a few bits including Jackie's t-shirt. Dad was hoping that his birthday present would be her working topless in the shop all day!!

I had a blast in class but I think there are a few tired teddies out there this evening who did them all and are paying the price now. We are all feeling it a bit too but we're off out later to celebrate Dad's birthday so there's no rest for the wicked! Jack has his eye on the couple of giant cupcakes left over, I have to say I've never seen a cupcake as big as those ones were but he'll have to wait till later or he won't eat his tea - they were virtually a meal in themselves!

Anyway, I need to put my feet up while I can as I am bushed!

Take care, K

Friday, 12 September 2008

Sneak peeks for tomorrow's crop classes

First of all, I apologise for not getting these peeks on here yesterday as planned but it ended up being a hectic day and I didn't get to bed until 3am today!! Everything was designed ages ago but the final straw was a virus on my laptop, need I say more?
Anyway, we are back up and running now and so here are the peeks for all six of tomorrow's classes together with the photo sizes and any other bits and bobs you might want to pack to bring with you.....

Melissa Frances 'Ambiente'
I used four 6" x 4" photos, two landscape and two portrait on this double page layout. The portraits and landscapes go as pairs on each page but you could probably mix them up a little or even go for two much larger pics if you prefer. You might want to add 3d foam pads, white and blue inkpads and a single hole punch to your bag.

Webster's Pages 'Peace'
I used a slightly cropped 6" x 4" portrait photo on this page and printed mine in sepia. This would work just as well with a slightly larger photo and you could use either portrait or landscape as the design is very flexible. You don't need to worry about bringing anything else along with you except for a pair of fine scissors as there is a LOT of delicate cutting out (bring a sense of humour though!!! LOL!!).

Bo Bunny 'Shabbilicious'
This is the reverse canvas class where we also make a mini book so you'll need a collection of smallish photos, mine were about 3.5" x 4.5" and they can be either portrait or landscape or both. Add one small photo in for the front cover around 2" x 2" of someone or something special! You'll need a soft brown inkpad (I used creamy brown) and a scrap of sandpaper for distressing paper plus a paper piercer, a glue stick, some double sided tape and a single hole punch.

Circle Album
A good strong pair of scissors are a must for this class as you have a lot of chipboard to cut! A big glue stick (or a few smaller ones) is also essential as you'll go through it like crazy covering this lovely black and white themed book with clever slide out pages. Grab a handful of 3" x 4" photos or 6" x 4" ones that can be cropped down tight. You'll need a black inkpad (I used charcoal), a paper piercer and if you have a Cropadile/Big Bite bring that along too.

Junkitz 'Shabby Chic'
Find yourself a 7" x 5" landscape photo or a couple of 6" x 4" ones that work together well and you are set for this class. A creamy brown inkpad is worth grabbing together with a single hole punch and a 1" circle pounch if you have one (we'll have punches in class for you to use so don't go rushing around for one!).

Arctic Frog 'Premiere Blend'
I used a 6" x 8" landscape photo for the sample page but a couple of 6" x 4" portraits work work just as well on this page. You just need a navy blue ink pad ( I used prussian blue) and a couple of brads for the centres of the flowers.

The full address for those unfamiliar with the area is;

The Community Centre, The Old School, High Street, Great Wakering, Southend-on-ea, Essex SS3 0EL and its a Victorian building opposite the White Hart Pub on the main road through the village. There is ample parking and the hall is all on one level with full access.

We're really looking forward to tomorrow, it looks like it will be a fun day and its also my Dad's birthday!! Hope to see you there :o)

PS........all of the extra class kits have sold out - if you're coming to the crop you'll be able to have more or less everything if you want it but there won't be any spares, sorry!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Shake me - I'll probably rattle!

On Sunday morning my nightmare happened, while getting ready for Mass I sneezed and my back went! Something so insignificant had me crawling on my hands and knees through to the phone in the bedroom to get help, can you believe it? Thank goodness for the emergency on-call doctor who was fab and soon had me filled up with so many different pills that I didn't really care about the excruciating pain any more!

Thank goodness that the early intervention by the doctor managed to stop things getting any worse and I avoided a trip to hospital. I spent that day flat on my back resting and was able to get up and about yesterday. I'm still off my head with the cocktail of drugs for pain but at least I'm able to get on with stuff, albeit very gently!

Friday, 5 September 2008

2 more Kent classes on sale tonight

We have two quite different kits on sale for the Kent crop tonight but equally great! The first uses the Ancestry line from K&Co, stunning papers that I am itching to get on with and use. We have added 5 papers to the kit, 2 of which are glittered (and just beautiful!). We also have a whole pack of chipboard words & swirls and a whole pack of journaling stickers together with cardstock for a kit that is sure to be popular.

Our second offering is from Fancy Pants' Spiffy line - very masculine and a bit cheeky (sounds like someone I know well!!). The kit uses 3 double-sided papers, a 12x12 sheet of die-cut titles and tags plus a whole pack of ribbons.

I have additional kits for both classes once the classroom places have sold out (which probably won't take long!) and I'll add these later.

I must dash as I have a hot date with Big Brother tonight!!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Another Essex crop kit booking now!

We have added another Essex crop class to the shop today which just leaves one more to go and the papers etc. should be here any day! This time we've got a project class for you, something a little different as its a reverse canvas with a secret mini-book inside - great fun to make and tons of space to fill with photos and memorabilia.

The kit uses products from the 'Shabbilicious' range from Bo Bunny and as well as cardstock and 4 patterned papers, it includes a canvas, a 12x12 sheet of alphabets, borders and embellishments, flowers and ribbons. Its a really pretty kit and a great technique that you can use again and again for a range of different themes. The only problem will be finding wall space for them all!!

You can book this class through the shop online now.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Two Essex Crop classes on sale tonight

Today its the turn of the Essex crop for classes! The first class is really lovely, the colours are soft and warm at the same time if you know what I mean? The kit is 'Shabby Chic' and is in tones of pink, cream, milky brown and pale blue. We've put 3 cardstock, 3 patterned papers, a whole pack of fabric tabs, flowers, embroidery floss, a needle, a spiral clip and a whole pack of Fancy Pants ribbons (the cotton lace in the pack is just delicious!!) in the kit for you and I'm sure we'll have a load of fun playing with it all :o)

The second kit is 'Premiere Blend' and is cool and sophisticated in shades of blue. This kit has 5 patterned papers in it together with a whole pack of alphabet stickers, a sheet of accent chips and a whole pack of flowers. I can see I'm going to be a very busy girl this week putting the sample pages together as the kits have literally only just arrived!

No rest for the wicked I suppose! LOL!!