Monday 21 November 2011

Scrapping with Scraps

Continuing yesterday's themes of using scraps and my ongoing obsession with kraft cardstock, here's another page featuring plenty of both plus some pics of one of the gorgeous New Forest pigs that roam about at this time of year to munch all the fallen acorns.

This page is a perfect example of how you can really make the most of your smallest scraps. The central lined/striped panel looks to be about 7-8" but in reality is only about 4"tall. Simply by slicing it in two and hiding the join with more papers/photos you can get the illusion of a much larger piece of paper.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Just the Two of Us...

You might say that I'm a little obsessed with kraft cardstock. Looking back at the last few pages I've created (promise to start sharing them here more often!) and it's glaringly apparent that it's become my cardstock of choice. This page uses some of the plain Papermania kraft as a base... it's perfect for inking spritzing, and of course goes with everything.

I knocked up this page at the last Crafty Moments crop (do come along if you are local!) to satisfy my own crop challenge to the girls. The challenge was to use JUST scraps (bar a base cardstock) to create a layout plus use the ol' chestnut 'just the two of use' for the title.

Some of the other crop-girlies had a go too... Daphne and Carole both made gorgeous pages!

Now I just need to come up with a challenge for next time!

Friday 18 November 2011

Tatty Sneak Peek!

One of the many things I love about my job is getting exclusive access to brand new products before anyone else! (it's a tough life eh?!) Today a brand new addition to the docrafts Digi Designer hit my desk and I didn't waste any time getting it installed!

So far I've only had a quick play and a browse through the adorable elements, but I can't resist showing off my favourite new character!!

I'll inevitably be back with more... If. You want to grab this new collection look out for more news coming soon about it's launch on Ideal World in a couple of weeks!

Thursday 17 November 2011

Wishing it was summer!

You might say that I'm not a big fan of the winter... once the clocks go back I don't really see the light of day (and only first thing in the morning!) so it's no wonder that given some cheery and bright papers I couldn't resist breaking out some pictures from my summer break...

Back in July I had a week's stay-cation (hate that word!), bumbling about the New Forest with the dogs and just couldn't resist getting my feet wet for a nice paddle with the girls.

Most of the page is made using the Papermania 52 All Occasion Card Kit. It features some gorgeous plain and printed paper flowers, plus heaps of cute die-cuts and loads of A5 sheets of cheery papers.

Of course this kit is designed primarily to make loads of pretty cards, but being me I had to make a layout too! I grabbed the opportunity to use the smaller sized papers and sliced them up to make a chevron design across the page - just loving that look at the moment!

If you like to see more of the page or grab my full walk-thorough of how I made it pop on over to right now!

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Ask the Team!

This Friday will see the start of a new feature for Creativity Club members at Every week you can join Emma Collins, myself or some of the special guests from Creativity TV (and possibly all of us at once!) in a special live forum chat only for Club Members! If you are a member just pop onto the special Creativity Club forum at 10am to chat about Creativity TV, projects, downloads and more. Ask us your crafty questions, let us know what you want to see from your club or just join in for a good old chin-wag!

Hope to see you there!

Monday 14 November 2011

Going clubbing...

I've been a tad busy lately. As well as the biggest batch of DIY in the world ever, the more fun sort of 'work' has kept me well and truly out of mischief!

If you're a member of the docrafts Creativity Club you'll have no doubt seen me (and the lovely Emma Collins) presenting our webisodes of Creativity TV. Despite being paralytic with feat to start with we're actually starting to get into the swing of things and (shhh) enjoying it rather a lot!

This week in Creativity TV our lovely guest Jo Austin demo'd a really clever pop up card that I can only share a wee sneaky peek of!

 And in homage I created a rather special layout with a cunning pop up element...

Another thing keeping me busy is that recently I've been donning my designery hat and creating a few exclusive printables, again for the Creativity Club.... this week I'm rather excited to share some fun and I hope really useful December number printables that would be perfect if you are planning on 'journalling your Christmas' and/or doing a 'December Daily'.

To grab these and to see the project above (plus one using the numbers) then pop over to docrafts right now! You do need to be a member of the club.... so if you'd like to join just click here.

It's crop night tonight and I can't wait!!! It'll make a lovely change to put the emulsion and gloss aside for some more crafty supplies! If you're local to me (Dorset/Bournemouth/Poole) we have spaces for some more crafty peeps... pop over to our facebook group for all the details! We'd love to see you there!

Monday 12 September 2011

I Feel Like Crafting Tonight.

I'm ashamed to say that at the moment it's a rare occurrence for me to actually get any crafting done at home. I'm so very lucky to be able to have crafting as a part of my day-job but somehow it's not the same as crafting just for the hell of it. Just for me. But somehow, even though the creative juices are willing my schedule seems to be conspiring against me and after moaning chatting about it with my lovely friend Emma, she's decided to do something about it!

So tonight sees the inaugural meeting of the Crafty Moments club. Based at the Barrington Centre in Ferndown, Dorset you can join us for a few hours of crafty fun from 6.30pm to 10.30pm (not sure I'll be there till the end, I like to be in bed by then!!) for just £3.50 to cover the room hire.

It's a total crafty free for all... no rules, no restrictions on what sort of craft you do. Just some crafty girls having a chat and doing their thing. Perfect!

So if you fancy a crafty night out, please leave me a comment or just rock on up this evening!

Disclaimer - It's possible that my lack of scrapping isn't the ONLY reason that Emma has started the club... I mean... she only has two children under three and busy job too... so I guess she might have the same problem. But I like to think it's mostly for me. Self involved? Moi? :)

Thursday 4 August 2011

Going digi...

A few weeks back docrafts launched a fab new digi-crafting tool called the docrafts Digi-Designer on Ideal World -  it's been a huge success so far! I'm very lucky to have been given access to all the discs created thus far and I'm championing the cause for some easy peasy digi-scrapping using the clever software. (It works much like photoshop, but without all the bits and pieces you never use!)

A couple of nights ago Becks and Sheila revealed the newest triple disc offering - the Papermania Christmas Past collection. I truly can't understate how much is on these discs!!! There are 10 full Christmas collections to choose from!


I spent a little bit of time having a play and am really loving the gorgeous non-Christmass papers that are included in many of the collections as well as the very-clever colourise tool that lets you change the colour of the papers etc to perfectly suit your pictures.

So here's my first page with the new discs... it features a picture of one of this years chicks (Katrina) who seems to spend her whole life trying to be bad!


Hope you like!

Tuesday 2 August 2011

The nichest of niche posts...

If you're a keeper of poultry AND a fan of mythology based fantasy tv or films you'll so get this....

So I'm out in the garden this morning sprinkling some bio-dri around the perimeter of the duck pond and water bowl and suddenly it occurs to me I'm one of the Winchesters.

Erm..... so if you're neither of the above you'll be forgiven for being a little confused and forgiven for thinking I've TOTALLY lost the plot. (And it's a fair assumption!)

So.... Bio-dri is a very clever powder disinfectant that both dries (hence the name) and sanitises. It also smells divine but I have definitely NEVER sniffed it while applying it. Honest. It's used to sprinkle around anywhere there might be a bit of moisture to keep the ducky/chook area nice and fresh and clean so the duck pond is the perfect place to sprinkle a nice ring of powder. (if by some amazing coincidence you ARE a chicken/duck keeper and want some of this lovely smelling (erm.... effective!) powder, I get mine from Flyte So Fancy...)

And all this takes us onto the Winchesters... (the irony that they too are hanging out by a pond isn't lost on me!)


The Winchesters (Sam and Dean from left to right... which is a bit like how Ant is always on the left of Dec so you can remember which of them is which) are travelling demon/vampire/werewolf battling brothers from the TV show Supernatural. One of the things they seem to do at least every other episode is try and keep indeterminate demons from entering a specific area (y'know... like a house). So the method of choice for this (apart from scrawling giant, intimidating pentagrams on the ceiling and floor) is to sprinkle a generous and unbroken perimeter of salt.

And so this morning while I was sprinkling a nice ring of white gritty powder in a circle around the duck pond it suddenly that I was JUST LIKE an american demon hunting traveller. But a girl. And without the 90s rock music. Or the car.


I guess we should all be reassured that there is absolutely no chance of any demon entering the ducks pond. Daphne is certainly relieved...

Daphne - Runner Duck

Friday 29 July 2011

Talking TV

So a couple of weeks ago Emma Collins and I had a mini road trip up to the studios of Creativity TV to film our premiere episodes presenting Creativity TV. The first episode goes live on Monday (exclusively for members of the Creativity Club) but in the meantime I'm allowed to share our teaser trailer of the new season of episodes!

Hope you like!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

The Birthday Girl

It was a tough choice as to which of the Honeybrook Farm photo-shoot pics to scrapbook first (it's lovely to have some new models to pose for me!) but little cutie Myla won the day, and not just because she's just had a very special birthday! It doesn't hurt that she's such a photogenic little person!

I created this page for the docrafts scrapbooking project of the week, and like all the best pages it's fun to create (with a nice bit of paint slappage) as well as pretty speedy to create!
The Birthday Girl
There will almost certainly be more layouts to come featuring Mrs Collins' lovely girls - who could resist?

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Down on the Farm!

I'm on holiday this week (I think quite well deserved even if I do say so myself!) and among the blissfully relaxing walks with the furry girls and some quality time with the feathery girls and boys, I've ticked off a few holiday must haves. paddling on the beach, being a tourist on my own doorstep in the New Forest and the inevitable catching up on a few little jobs (the fish tank has never looked so sparkly!).

I'm lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world and that means half the world seems to come on holiday here, so the only chance to visit the touristy places (you know... the ones just round the corner that you never get round to visiting!) is a cheeky mid-week off season day! Last time I went to Marwell but this time around the animals were a little less exotic!

So yesterday I joined Erica Martyn and Emma Collins and their respective kiddies for a fun afternoon at Honeybrook Farm near Wimborne.

Of course there were the usual suspects....


Honeybrook Farm - Duck

Honeybrook Farm - Runner Duck


Honeybrook Farm - Hen


Honeybrook Farm - Pig

Honeybrook Farm - Piglet


Honeybrook Farm - Dove

But among the not so wild animals were some other cute little people, namely Harry, Nevie and Myla!

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

Honeybrook Farm

It was wonderful to be able to take a few photographs of such wonderful models! - Hope you like!

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Zoo Time

Life is busy. Like super-super busy. And it didn’t even really help having a week off work last week! Although I did manage a little trip to the zoo. I’ve not been to Marwell in an age and it’s still as great as I remember. Of course I took some camera gear and took 1 or 2 pics.

Snow Leopard

Most of these were with my Canon 7D and Sigma 150-500mm. You really appreciate the extra reach at Marwell. It’s essential with most of the animals living in lovely BIG enclosures. To see them all visit my Flickrstream, but here are a couple to whet your appetite.

Amur Tiger
Marwell 2011

Secretary Bird

While events have conspired against me to do much scrapping at home recently, I have been creating for my day-job. While I can't share any sneaks of projects for the July issue of Creativity, I can point you towards some bits and pieces on the website. 

First up are some pages using the new May releases. The first features some of my favourite things! The pics are of some Mandarin ducks that live wild at one of my favourite places in the New Forest and they are merrily nestling in acres of PM Kraft cardstock. I seriously can't tell you how much I love this stuff. I'm not sure how I survived before it!

 Next is a page with Mistress Martha and using the Me To You - Especially For You collection. Tatty Teddy is so adorable and for pages about kiddies (or my bear cub) it's just the right about of cute!

Lastly for today is a page explaining another thing that's been keeping me busy!

4 cute little ducklings hatched the week before Easter and they are already nearly as big as their parents! If you are a member of the Creativity Club you'll also have already seen my newest chicks featuring on a page. I can't share that here (It's exclusive don't you know!) but when I get a spare min, I'll share some more pics!

Monday 28 March 2011

Design 101 for Newfie Owners.

I’ve just been reminded (yet again) that Newfie’s aren’t normal dogs. Now, you might think that’s an obvious statement but it’s only when people indicate something is dog friendly that it becomes glaringly obvious that these big hairy beasts are nothing but ‘regular’.

I’m always on the look out for ‘dog friendly’ (see, there’s that phrase again) ideas for the home so when my FAVOURITE blog of all – Design Sponge tweeted a link to a ‘dog friendly’ home I couldn’t resist nipping over for a peek. The article is here in all its glory BTW.
So herein lies a couple of differences…

1. Easy clean tile/wood floors. Sounds like a great idea in principle, but this is a recipe for disaster for giant dogs with hairy paws. I’ve experienced a dog with Cruciate tears and don’t care to experience another thankyou!

2. Teeny weeny, wobbly glass bottles with leaves painstakingly arranged on a chest of drawers. Looks great but Newfies are TALL and their flappy tails reach even higher… I’m pretty sure these would last 30 seconds in my house.

3. White fabric sofas/fabric covers on dining chairs/white bed linen might look gorgeous but with dogs that resemble woolly mammoths plus gallons of dribble these would be grimy and grey in about 5 seconds flat.

4. Vintage skittles artfully arranged next to a fireplace - I predict these would be standing up for 30 seconds and outside as a new exciting chew toy in 30 mins.

5. Floor length white curtains - See point 3!

6. The Coffee Table. I don’t know anyone with a Newfie that owns a coffee table. First off it’s the perfect height for dribbling, ANYTHING on it would be flung aside with a huge head or flapping tail in seconds plus putting a cup/glass anywhere near a Newf is asking for trouble. A big hairy snout and giant tongue would be inside faster than you could ever imagine a Newf could move. Plus Newfs like to play rough. Leaping about and wrestling is an activity best saved for the middle of the living room (and ideally just when your family is sitting down to watch Glee. (I’m not bitter.) So the space is left empty.

7. Candles. No. Big hairy, wafting tail + naked flames = the towering inferno.

8. Sheepskin throws/cow hide rugs. I can’t be sure, never having owned one of these, but I’m pretty sure slobber and sheepskin isn’t a nice mix. I think the cow hide might just get eaten.

But apart from that.... it looks perfectly ‘dog’ if not Newf ‘friendly’. :)

Monday 14 March 2011

Mud has a lot to answer for.

So yesterday I was roaming through the woods at my favourite spot in the New Forest and like the clumsy dolt I am, managed to get myself stuck up to my knees in mud. In retrospect maybe I should have stayed in the mud and called for a flock of burly firemen to rescue me…. But as I had no idea where I was, having roamed randomly through the woods for a good half hour I decided to utilise my very own rescue squad (my lovely Newfies – Lola and Martha). So with the assistance of a pair of ‘trained’ rescue dogs and some handy nearly trees I managed to lever myself free.

So there I was… so giddy that I’d managed to avoid almost certain death due to quick-sand (quick mud?) drowning that I skipped gleefully on and pranced majestically over a ditchy stream thing.

Of course ‘prancing majestically’ is code for losing my footing on the opposite bank and face planting onto the muddy bank the other side.

As if that wasn’t enough I managed to land with my arm (and somehow my shoulder) right under me. I heard a crunchy sound that suggested I’d snapped my arm, but thankfully it seems to be a bad bone bruise and lots of lovely strained muscles/ligaments etc. Never have I been so glad for stupid amounts of mud and a flabby gut to cushion my fall and allow me to avert potential arm snappage.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

How to Construct a 'Push 'N' Pull' Card

I've got a little video to share this arvo. It's my first of this type so be gentle with me! Can't take any credit for the editing etc - just the crafting!

Crimes against Memories

It occurred to me today that we are in danger of having a whole generation of children that their only photos of their childhood are taken with phones and only uploaded to facebook (where they get compressed to death BTW!). A whole generation whose key life moments are only immortalized in grainy and blurry images. Birthday parties, first steps and other milestone moments might be immediately broadcast around the globe for mass consumption on facebook , but these same publically heralded moments are seemingly treated with as little importance as a quick orange tinted and blurry snap taken of your new shoes to show off on twitter.

I’m grateful so often that I have family albums full of childhood photos. Photos of birthday parties, days out and holidays. Photos that are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and not taken with expensive kit, but they are real and they are ‘safely’ stored in albums for me to look at whenever I choose. (I say ‘safely’ because I’m guilty of not having liberated them all from the sticky photo albums.)

Of course if you’re a scrapbooker I’m already preaching to the converted. We embrace recording our family’s history (and those everyday little moments) with an almost obsessive vigor but I’m sure we all know someone who is guilty of crimes against memories.
Poland Chicks
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying a camera phone doesn’t have a place. They are perfect for grabbing a once in a lifetime moment pic but for key moments take a second to get your camera (whether it’s a compact, or a slr) out and use it. Facebook won’t be here forever (I hope!) and with it will disappear the photos you’ve trusted them to keep safe.

Friday 7 January 2011

Piled high

7/365 2011 Damask
Originally uploaded by *karlotta*

I'm notoriously bad at filing layouts away - i must have a pile about 12inches high of pages waiting to find a home, so I'm quite excited that I've just had a gorgeous pair of albums arrive! They are both this amazing damask print and are of course the essential D-ring. I just can't be bothered messing with post bound ones. Life is far too short!

If the rain carries on at least I have something to keep me busy indoors!

My own bear cub.

6/365 2011 Sleepy Bear
Originally uploaded by *karlotta*

The last few nights I've really enjoyed watching Gordan Buchanan's latest films about families of Black Bears in the woods of Minnesota (if you missed it it's on iplayer still). Perhaps unsurprisingly there were so many ways that they reminded me of the big black and brown furry creatures that share my home. The way the bears sit right back on their bums with their legs sticking out in front, their huge and mobile noses and the way they amble about in the woods but with the potential for super bursts of speed! I'm just glad Newfies can't climb trees!

So of course yesterdays picture had to be of one of the Newfs. Neither of the girls though wanted to be terribly obliging; Martha drew the short straw and refused to even open one eye! I'm sure she was channeling the bears with a spot of hibernation (she'd definitely be capable of digging the winter den!).

Wednesday 5 January 2011

It's all over.

5/365 2011 Festive Monkey
Originally uploaded by *karlotta*

So tonight I took all the decorations down for another year. It always seems really sad and I wasn't even close to being sick of them. I guess that's one of the benefits of not putting them up too early!

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Macbook Glow

4/365 2011 Macbook Glow
Originally uploaded by *karlotta*

This little fella arrived a few days ago to replace my ageing laptop and desktop. I love the glow from under the keys so it was the only choice for my first inside 365 shot.

Monday 3 January 2011

Watch the Birdie!

It's back to work tomorrow and for the last day of my hols I took a jaunt down to the coast with the girlies. After a quick dip in the sea (the dogs, not me I hasten to add I took the opportunity to spot a few birds and take a few pics! Being the winter there were plenty of seasonal visitors and everything I shot was a new species for me so quite exciting!

These are Brent Geese... they are small for a goose and very cute. They were merrily swimming and feeding in the water at Keyhaven...

Brent Geese

And browsing the grass just down the road.

Brent Geese

This little coot was in a hurry to come over and be photographed.

3/365 2011 Coot

And these little people are Turnstones.



It's funny how wielding a nice big lens makes people desperate to get out of your way when you are taking pics, my 'little' Sigma 150-500 is definitely a significant beast and a couple of people nearly hurled themselves in the water to avoid crossing my sights or disturbing the wildlife! You don't get that with a camera phone!