Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Challenged! - Back to School

My son starts reception class at the primary school next week. He’s already been in the nursery class but he’ll now have to do a full day, wear uniform and have school it really is going to ‘big’ school.

This card is for him and fits these challenges:

Monday, 29 August 2011

Magazine Addict – Cook Vegetarian September 2011

After a morning of cardmaking, me and my four-year-old son did some baking this afternoon. We chose this recipe from this month’s Cook Vegetarian Magazine. My notes are in italics!

Despite their name, they tasted cheesy rather than of carrot or thyme.

Oaty Carrot and Thyme Muffins

175g plain flour
50g porridge oats
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mustard powder (I used ready-made mustard)
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and ground black pepper
225g carrots, coarsely grated
lOOg vegetarian mature Cheddar, grated (I used Red Leicester as it was all I had in the fridge)
100ml vegetable oil
100ml milk
2 large free-range eggs

1 Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.(I don’t have a muffin tin , so used ordinary cake tins and got more, smaller muffins.)  Mix the flour, oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mustard (as ready-made, I mixed this in later with wet ingredients) and thyme together in a large bowl. Season with plenty of ground black
pepper and a good pinch of salt.

2 Stir in the carrots and 3/4of the cheese. Mix together the oil, milk and egg, Add to the dry ingredients and stir briefly.

3 Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, sprinkle over the remaining cheese, (forgot to do this and had to grab them back out of the oven to sprinkle the cheese) and bake for 20-25 minutes
or until risen and golden brown on top. (Did you notice? No oven temperature is given. I guessed gas mark 6 and they cooked in 20 mins).

We ate quite a lot of these, despite them being a bit greasy ( maybe because I used the wrong cheese?).

Challenged! - Card for a Man

I made this card for these challenges: Something for the men : Men/ All things male themed

The main image is Stampington, stamped in Versamark on vellum and chalked. The newspaper background is a clear stamp by Glitz and I made the final layer from an inked up Sizzix embossing folder on Kraft paper.

Doing the Docrafts - Glitter Strips

And so, on with my quest to use up my random Docrafts stash. The challenge at Charisma Cardz (, Glitter it!, reminded me of the bumper bag of 110 glitter strips that came in a Docrafts Goody Bag. Here's how I used them:
The butterflies are Magic Motifs that I've had hanging around for years, covered in glitter; and the greeting is a rub-on.
So, that's 5 Glittter Strips taken care of. Only another 105 to go!

Challenged! - Travel

I saw two challenges this week with a 'travel' theme, so I thought I'd take part.Found the squashed bottlecap lying around when I was tidying up, maybe I should revive that craze!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Magazine Addict- Papercraft Essentials Issue 71

This issue came with free CraftsUPrint papers, most of which are not to my taste. I did like this decoupage 'deco' style woman though, and I added a leftover piece of background paper and some square gems (another Docrafts Goody Bag item, I think).

The mag also had a good feature 'Masterclass:Utee' by Sue Pennick. I have a Melt Pot gathering dust, so I intend to get a pendant blank and make the heart shape pendant. Another one onto the to-do list.

My Perfect...Summer Cocktail : A Cosmopolitan

In fact, it's perfect all year round!

You need -                 
  •    a nice big glass
  •    something to measure with (eg bottle lid, egg cup) The bigger your measure, the more alcoholic your drink!
  • 1.5 measures of vodka
  • 0.5 measures of Cointreau
  • 1.5 measures of cranberry juice
  • 0.5 measures of freshly squeezed lime
  • ice
Chuck in the glass, mix and drink!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My Victorian Card

I was asked to make a Victorian-style card . I used the stamps and papers and knew it needed something to make it more Victorian-y. Then I saw a new challenge blog :
and the theme was 'handmade flowers' and I decided to make one. I find making flowers a bit fiddly but I managed a little rose and chucked a bit of 'Glamour Dust'  around and I was quite pleased in the end.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Doing the Docrafts

I love the Docraft goodie bags and the free gifts they give with their mag, but they do mean that I often end up with stuff I wouldn’t normally buy.

So I’m setting a regular challenge for the My Perfect Life Design Team . (That’s me!) I’ll be digging out some of the Docrafts stuff and trying to use it up.

First up, these 12x12 papers from a goodie bag a few months ago. They’re not my taste and I think they’re a bit old fashioned. In fact, this month Docraft brought out a new ‘birthday – theme’ range that’s more contemporary.

I’m going to a party tonight and decided to use them to wrap the present etc. I made a gift bag decorated with 3 lollipops. In addition to the Docrafts papers I used glitter, plain cardstock, adhesive, gems, one sticker and die cutting equipment. Here’s the finished article.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Magazine Addict - Making (Magazine) Issue11 September 2011

I couldn't resist the Chocolate Masterclass by Bethan Davies. I made the Peanut Butter truffles because I always have peanut butter in. Didn't have any peanuts to coat them with though.

Basically, you heat cream, and add it to melted chocolate and butter. Then mix in the peanut butter. When it's set you roll it into balls and stick it in the freezer.

The peanut butter truffles - not so attractive!
The next day, you melt more chocolate and coat the balls in it. 

Mine didn’t look as good as the ones in the mag but they tasted great – like mini Snickers.

Magazine Addict - Mollie Makes Issue 4

I got inspired by a little piece,on page 38 , about artist Lizzie Allen, who screenprints London themes on wallpaper and cushions. Her website is

I thought I'd do some London-themed stamping. For the first one, I used Artemio London  stamps (phone box and buses/taxis).The couple are by Unity Stamps.  Lots of masking here!

For the next one I used Arttemio again and the stamp positioner to repeat stamp the guardsman. I know it's really smudgy but I was in too much of a hurry to get my ideas done! Maybe I'll do a nice clean one sometime.

Also, on page 78, there was a cushion , made by a woman called Ali Binns, at a sewing workshop. To my delight I realised the fabric she used was from the same Makower series as two cushions I made earlier this year.

My perfect....Tomato

Waiting for the perfect moment of perfect ripeness to pick the perfect tomato.

Magazine Addict - Simply Cards and Papercraft Issue 87

Craftwork Cards Botanical Collection papers came free with this issue! I'd admired these papers from afar and seen some great cards made with them on the Craftwork Cards website. Now I've got them...and got a creativity block! So I kept it simple, using die cutting and highlighting with gel pens and gems on the first ; and using it purely as a background on the second. The second card was made using the Promarkers Masterclass by Lindsey Hopkins, in the same mag.

Actually, disaster struck when I was die cutting this card. The rubber shim I was using got caught in the rollers of the Big Shot and totally jammed. I emailed Sizzix to ask them about dismantling the Big Shot and they advised me not to as it would invalidate my warranty. I don't have a warranty as I bought it on Ebay! So, it was a case of dismantle and unjam, or chuck the machine out.

My partner and I spent over an hour last night dismantling it , getting out the rubber shim and then, with great difficulty, putting it together again. The Big Shot is back!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Happy Shopper : Usborne 100 Things for Little Children to do on a Journey

These cards are great. On the plane, in the hotel room, in the restaurant waiting to be served.... these cards kept my four-year-old occupied over and over. The activities include drawing (‘draw a hat for this girl’), spot the difference, mazes, simple puzzles. They come with a dry-wipe pen and so are reusable. Great value for less than a fiver!

Magazine Addict - Marie Claire September 2011

Okay, so I’ve studied Marie Clare and I’m now able to plan my look for Autumn Winter 2011!!!

Four things I already have that I’ll be (fashionably) wearing in AW11:
1) ‘Leather ‘ pencil skirt – that’ll cover two looks ; the ‘pencil skirt look’ (obviously) and the ‘fetish trend’. (“Are you daring enough to flirt with the fetish trend?” Well, maybe not for work.)
2) A thin belt. I must wear it as an accessory, over my sweater, rather than just to keep my trousers up.
3) Blue velvet jacket. Hurray for Marks and Sparks!
4) Bright orange T-shirt. Orange is in!

Two things that I’ve got to get to update my wardrobe for AW11
1) Floppy brim hat. (Some nice ones on
2) Something 60s.

Two trends I won’t be partaking in for AW11:
1) The thigh –flashing split. With these thighs? I don’t think so!
2) Eye liner in the eye socket. “Just use an eyeliner to trace along the socket line , following the shape of the eye.....creating crease definition and giving a wide-eyed, innocent look.” I think I’m beyond wide-eyed innocence.

Two trends I think I wouldn’t be seen dead in but may end up eating my words if they stick around long enough. (It’s happened before.):
1) Brogues.
2) Snake print blouse.

Pencil Lines Sketch 250

Another great sketch from Pencil Lines, and I really enjoyed doing this layout. The paper and stickers are October Afternoon 'Boarding Pass' and I coloured the little tags with ink and stamped them with random stamps. I did experiment with laying them out in a more bunting-style, but just couldn't make it work.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hooray, Hooray, It's a Holiday!

Going on holiday, I've got some purpose for some of those stamped luggage labels!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Pencil Lines 249

I love the sketches at and have made this layout using this week's. I used Echo Park 'Life is Sweet' papers.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Birds on a badminton net

Magazine Addict - Cardmaking and Papercraft Issue 95 September

There are two sets of beautiful free papers with this issue!
The first, Totally Tropical by Kate Knight , comes as a paper stack. I used them to do one of the projects from the magazine: paper piecing.

The other set is in the centre of the magaine, although I prefer to download them from the website

I've entered this card into their online sketch challenge, although I can immediately see that some of the entries already posted are far better than mine!! Of course, the fun is taking part!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Friday, 5 August 2011

Magazine Addict - Quick Cards Issue 90 August 2011

There are some pretty stamps, on a teaparty theme, free with this issue. I wasn't sure about the free paper downloads until I used them, with the stamps, to enter the online challenge at

Everyone calls little cakes 'cupcakes' now, American stylee. I still insist on calling them 'Fairy cakes'...the British name (although many people insist that cupcakes are bigger.) Anyway, that inspired me to perch a fairy (printed from a My Craft Studio CD and cut out) on top of the cakes.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Cards for Men

Here's a couple of easy cards for men. 
The first was made using Graphic 45's 'A proper Gentleman' paper. I only bought one sheet of this (the strips one)  : I've already made two cards with it and got loads left! The letters are cut with Sizzix 'Cherish'.  
The second is made with one of a set of Karen Forster stickers I've had hanging around for ages. I embossed some Kraft card in a Tim Holtz embossing folder smeared with ink. I ripped bits off the embossed card , used a 7 Gypsies apothecary sticker for the greeting and stamped some cream card for the background.

My perfect ....August

My perfect ....August

  • Playing quoits, crazy golf, getting lost in a maze at a country house, a teddy bears’ picnic in the garden.....

  • Toenails painted in bright colours. Keeping cool in a floaty cotton dress and strappy sandals with a pretty, paper fan.
  • A shady spot on a sunny day. A thunderstorm from the safety of my window. The sunrise over the sea.

  • Getting away from it all. Days out. A trip abroad. Exploring the UK.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

My Perfect Life

My life isn’t perfect, but if I squint at it in a certain light, I can make it seem so.....