Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Flowers!

Yesterday I had a note through the door about a parcel that they had tried to deliver but I must have been engrossed in playing and didn't hear. Anyway when I went to the Post Office to collect my parcel it was another lovely bunch of flowers - this time from Karen. I've never been so spoilt!

Unfortunately the camera isn't here so I can't snap a pic of them but they are lovely.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Playing With Transparencies

I had a nice relaxing evening on Sunday crafting and experimenting with making embellishments out of transparency sheets. Anyway, after lots of faffing and playing I made some bits to use on a layout and today I finished it off while Isabelle had a sleep.

There is a sheet of transparency over the photo with 'love' and the heart stamped on it using Staz On. Then I wrote the word beautiful on an off cut of transparency using an American Crafts slick writer, coloured roughly over the reverse with a white sharpie and inked the edges with staz on. The photo corners are a combination of staz on, slick writer pen and white sharpie all on transparency.

The journaling box is a foofala rub on, "EYES" is done with Creative Imaginations chipboard letters and the lace border is froma Rebecca Sower Nostaligiques pack.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Did I Say I Was Lucky? I Meant Very Lucky!

This morning I got another yummy parcel through my door. This time it was a gorgeous canvas made by Clare. Thanks Clare!! Here it is, the photo doesn't do it justice!

Darren and I decided that to make up for having to cancel all my birthday plans we would try and do some nice stuff this week coming. This morning we have been to Colchester Zoo. We are so lucky to live about 3 minutes from this place. They have a great reputation for high standards of animal care and enrichment as well as a breeding programme that is amazing (we've had two baby elephants in the last few years which is no mean feat in a zoo!

We both have Platinum cards for the zoo which allows us unlimited visits over a two year period and with it being so handy Izzy and I can pop in for an hour whenever we fancy without feeling like we have to stay all day to make the most of the entrance price.

Izzy loves the monkeys and the elephants and I love the tigers and the sealions oh and the meerkats. Despite being a Saturday it was much less crowded than I thought. Here's Izzy at the elephant enclosure and a pic I got of one of the tigers.

On the ATDML Front...

I got an e mail from our freight forwarder and we have a shipment en route to us as we speak! This shipment includes mostly new suppliers to us (and in fact most of the items are from companies who were "new exhibitors" at CHA - either brand new companies or new to the show)

I am really excited about some of the cool stuff we have coming. There are some GORGEOUS rub ons, some cool technology for your pages, loads of yummy A2Z paper plus lots more. AND it's nearly March which means a whole load more of our orders that are due for March shipping will be on their way soon!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Feeling Much Better Now!

Phew, all the anti biotics and paracetamol are kicking in and I am feeling relatively normal now at last! I snapped a few photos this morning of some of the things I got yesterday, TWO lots of flowers, one from Darren one from Dawn, a beautiful clipboard I got in the post this morning from Maria, my Pad birthday swap gifts from Izzy and the card I got from Shirleen (would have photographed the present with it but now I am half way through eating them the bag isn't very photogenic!!!!
Flowers from Darren

Flowers from Dawn

Altered Clipboard From Maria

Pad Birthday Swap Parcel From Izzy

Birthday card from Shirleen

I really am a lucky girl (and a bit less Eeyorish now I am feeling better!)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me...

OK, so here I am. 28 years old today. AND I'M STILL SICK! Felt much better on Monday but on Tuesday I got an excruciating headache and felt like my head would explode if I moved too much. Blurry vision, flashing lights and neck pain meant a swift trip to see the Doctor (and I had to see the mean one with no bedside manor who no one likes - funnily enough he was the only one with appointments left, go figure.

So I still feel rubbish (marginally better now the anti biotics have kicked in.

**Stamps feet**

I'm relocating my birthday to next week but in the meantime thank you to my lovely cyber friends who sent cards and gifts, they were unexpected and sweet and brightened up a grey poorly day.

I'm going to try and take some pictures tomorrow of my pressies and upload them because I need a pretty picture on my blog!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It Didn't Go Quite To Plan

Today Mum and I were due to go to Stitches at the NEC. Stitches (short for International Craft Hobby and Stitches) is the main UK trade show for the craft business and most manufacturers and distributors have stands there. I have to confess that several people had said to me that coming so soon after CHA it would probably be a disappointment as the scale of the event is MUCH smaller and you have just seen most of the new releases.

However, I didn't get to find out. I have been feeling a little off colour with a sore throat and flu like symptoms but last night by the time I got to Mums (to stay over and get an extra 20 minutes in bed before an early start) I felt absolutely rotten.

I slept very badly, in fact I only slept between 11 and 2:30a.m. and even then I had really vivid bad dreams which is very unusual for me. Needless to say when Mum came in at six she took one look at me and suggested I stay home. I guess she didn;t fancy a few hours couped up in a germ infested car with me!

I tried to get a bit more sleep but after downing a few Neurofen I felt a bit better and consoled myself with finishing a layout I had started the other night.
It's nothing fancy but I love this photo and I am quite pleased with the layout.

Mum didn't stay that long, placed a few orders, picked up a few catalogues and most importantly met up with a few online friends. I was so sad to miss out on seeing them but I think I probably did the right thing staying at home. As it happens Mum had a coffee with Ginger probably at the same time I was finishing off her Art House Circle Journal - well it needs it's holes punched but then it's done. I will maybe upload a sneak peek next time but not the whole thing as it has to be a surprise when t gets home!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Scrapped With The New BG!

After all the parcels were packed and the Design Team Kits were sent out I managed to get my hands on a few sheets of the new Basic Grey. I used the Phoebe range for this layout of Isabelle playing with my incredibly long scarf a whole year ago!
The bits of paper folded over around the edge of the photo were inspired by the cover of a mini book I did in an Emily Falconbridge class which had ribbons stapled round the edge. I just cut the stripes up to make paper ribbons. I used American Crafts "Thickers" for the title and was really chuffed to discover that the Rhonna Farrer Scribbles stickers I have from Autumn Leaves are a great match for the Phoebe range. I think my scrapping mojo may be returning as I am back to being quite excited about playing with paper again! *Smiles*

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Phew - It Arrived and It's Gone Again!

The Basic Grey that is.

We have spent the best part of the week sitting around waiting for it to arrive. Each day we were expecting the call and for some reason HM customs decided to be MEAN MEAN MEAN and delay the shipment of Basic Grey.

FINALLY it arrived today. But we hadn't been resting on our laurels, all the pre registered customers who confirmed their orders and paid had pizza boxes ready for them and so as it was lifted out of one box it was packed straight into pizza boxes, with the relevant pre cut co-ordinating ribbons that we include with every order and straight down to the post office.

It helped of course that my Auntie (super organised) and cousins were on hand to help. We had a little production line going:)

Back with a proper entry with pictures and stuff soon. Too tired now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How Lush Are These?

I love these stamps from Art Declassified! And they are on their way to us - ordered at CHA and shipped a couple of days ago look out for them in our store.

There's quite a variety of themes and styles so great for any altered artists, circle journal makers and for scrappers too. This is just a snippet of what's coming, we ordered quite a lot of different designs. They are Red Rubber and come ready mounted and stored in CD cases - that was one of the things we loved, buy the stamp and it's ready to use, easy to store and you can even use the CD case it's in instead of a mounting block if you prefer (although some people do swear by using a proper acrylic block so that bit is down to personal taste)

Hmmmmm I think one of Darrens CD storage units might be commandeered for stamp storage use!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Conversational Confusion & Visitors

Isabelle is trying very hard to speak and her reportoire of words is growing by the day. It does get a bit confusing when she is adamant she wants whatever it is she is trying to say but it sounds too much alike!
Nana = nana, Darrens Mum. We have been saying this all week to proactise as Nana and Robin were coming to visit yesterday. Just to confuse matters she also says Nana to refer to her friend Susanna!

Narnee = not to be confused with Nana this is Izzys shortened form of Banana; said VERY frequently.

Nonny = Johnny, one of her little friends and companion for most of the week I was away. Several times a day since we have got back she has looked forlornly around and said "Nonny?" as if she has lost a favourite toy.

Needless to say yesterday when she was getting very cross with me for not understanding her I was lost in a tirade of Nana, Nonny and Narnee's

Anyway, yesterday, as I mentioned my Mother In Law and her partner Robin came to visit us. I have to admit I wasn't sure whether the tidying would get done but it did! It was lovely to see them and we had a nice lunch together while Izzy had her nap. My gorgeous new storage solution was admired LOTS by Robin who has now decided he needs an Expedit! - no, neither Jenny or Robin are scrapbookers but as well as being the perfect size for 12x12 layouts and cardstock it of course will fit a large number of 12" records which they have and need storing. If only IKEA would give me commission. ;)

Isabelle enjoyed having a different audience to watch her prancing about playing with her sunglasses and climbing into her booster seat, buckling herself in and then undoing it (her new favourite trick) and of course she wasn't shy about thrusting a book at her Nana and saying "Nana Book" a few times! I got Darren to snap a picture of them reading together. My lounge has AWFUL light and on a late afternoon in February with the ISO cranked up the picture quality isn't good at all but I like it.

CJs & Sunglasses

The Circle Journal is coming on OK which is good. I am really wnjoying the Hodge Podge CJ group as it is a chance to do more of the arty stuff that I like to do but can never manage to translate onto a layout.

That's one of my resolutions, to try out a few new things on my layouts and not worry about whether it will work out ok - after all, I have all my photos printed t Photobox so I can alway get reprints if I try something and it doesn't work, and the rest of it is *only* paper after all!!
I am also really looking forward to an "inchie" swap I have just signed up for on the pad - ohhhh paint ink and collage art are definitely what's getting me excited at the moment :)

Just had to post this seasonally inappropriate picture but it WAS taken yesterday!
I couldn't resist buying Belle a pair of Minnie Mouse Sunglasses in California (as modelled by Mr Monkey in one of the earlier posts!) and she loves them, she especially likes opening the front "mouseheads" which leaves clear glasses behind which is why the right side of the glasses looks odd in this pic!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Card

Here's the card, blogger had a change of heart obviously. The colour on the scan is not quite true but it is't that far off - it's still pink!

Tidying, A Culinary Disaster and Valentines

Well today hasn't been that exciting. My Mother in Law and her partner are coming tomorrow so we are faced with the customary frantic tidying mission! I am hopelessly untidy and I am possibly the worst housewife ever to walk the earth! So today I have been trying to clear the dining room table while Darren went out to football. Sounds bad doesn't it? He went out and left me tidying. But the reality is, he is super tidy and is also remarkably quick at tackling the tidying so he was easily able to do his share AND go out for a few hours!

Secondly I feel I must confess the French Onion soup was a disaster. Well ok it wasn't THAT bad but I didn't really stick to the recipe and I made rash decisions like thinking that because I love caramelised onions that I should add a whole heap more sugar than the recipe said. And I just chucked things in willy nilly. Now don't get me wrong, that is my favourite way to cook and some of my best dishes have come from such blatant disregard for the quantities, ingredients and method set out in the recipe but, on this occassion, it just meant the soup was FAR too sweet and I could only pretend to enjoy half a bowl before leaving the rest! I Still love French Onion Soup and will try and make it again but sticking to the recipe!

I decided to be brave an upload the valentines card. Darren won't look on my blog, well certainly not before Wednesday so I am fairly safe. I must add the following little disclaimers that

a) I am so NOT a card maker, I was just too tight to pay £3 for a card when I have a load of card blanks at home.

b) I KNOW it is pink and it is a card for a bloke but I really made it the way I would like it.

c) Does anyone know a man who actually likes the soppiness of valentines day? I don't so he won't really care that the card is pink and home made very badly!

I am hoping tomorrow Darren won't go too mad if I get out the scrapping stuff when Jenny and Robin have gone home because I have a Circle Journal that needs to get finished and posted. I LOVE the journal I have right now and am tempted to tell it's owner that the dog from down the road came into the house and ate it just so I can keep it! Mwahaha It's theme is Art House and each page has to be a house of some kind. I would tell you what mine will be but then I would have to erase the memory of anyone who reads this blog and that sounds like a whole lot of hassle.

A Ha - it looks like the valentines card will remain under wraps for another day or two as blogger once again is in "computer says no!" mode. No pictures for me AGAIN!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Blogiversary Giveaway and French Onion Soup

OK The number picked out of Izzys little pink hat (as worn in the snow pictures) is number 15 and looking down the comments that is Heather (with the Red Haired Girl Blog.) Email me at and let me have your full name and address and I will send you a little box of goodies. Still working on transferring stash from various locations around the house so not sure what I will find some nice stuff :)

I have been to work today so no exciting news to report. I might be brave and upload the slightly pathetic card I made Darren for Valentines - only trouble is I made it and it ended up a bit pink! Well it has a heart on it and it didn't look right in blue. Ho hum!

I am really starting to get annoyed at my inability to transfer files from the laptop to the PC via the wireless network. By the time I finish posting my LA pics it will be Summer!

While we were there we went on a tour of LA, Hollywood, Beverley Hills and Venice Beach. Our lunch stop was at the Farmers Market which had a whole area with loads of food stalls. Mum and I ate at the French Creperie and I had the most fabulous French Onion Soup. It was delicious. So I have found this recipe which I saw on Saturday Cooks a while back (don't laugh I often flake out on Saturday morning with breakfast and play with Izzy while watching cooking shows! Its Jean Cristophe Novelli's Onion Soup... Of course I probably won't do it right, just follow the general method and make a few adjustments! Wish me luck - I know it is quarter to nine but I am about to go cook it for my dinner!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Well the forecasted snow arrived here over night and with it came a phone call early this morning to tell Darren that some of the main roads into his school were blocked so he got the day off!

Izzy kept waking up last night, very unusual for her, and I was shattered from being up and down all night so I got a bit of a lie in!

When we got up though we did wrap up and take Isabelle out in the snow for a little while.

She seemed a bit unsure of it to start with but curiosity got the better of her and she was soon picking it up, running round in it and sniffing it!

All that's left now is a forlorn pile of slush with a few patches of snow still lingering so I am glad we got out and took photos earlier. Ialso snapped this picture which if I was to call it anything would be called determination! We had our front driveway dug up, concreted and inprinted with just a couple of small flower beds left which Darren put weed membrane on then gravelled the top of with just a few dwarf confiers along the front. Somehow some of our spring bulbs survived and found a way through the edge of the membrane, through the gravel and through the snow and their shoots were peeping out at me today! It's not a very pretty picture with the car parking area in the background and no colour but the shoots are there!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ooohhh Exciting

We got e mails today from two companies we ordered from at CHA, one asking for card details as they have an order ready to ship to us and one letting us know they have taken payment and the order will be on it's way shortly. VERY excited to think that we will soon be receiving our first orders from the USA!

Will look at the comments on yesterdays post tomorrow night and select a name from a hat to choose who gets my blogiversary giveaway goodies. :)

Not much else has happened today as I have been at work. We had fun making various craft stuff this afternoon including Chinese Dragons! I have tomorrow off but am back at work on Friday to make up for the day I missed last week while I was faffing around doing a Hollywood Tour!

Ooohhh forgot that I hadn't uploaded those pictures yet - Must Must Must sort out transferring photos from laptop to PC!

**Note To Self - Get Organised!**

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's My Blogiversary and A Giveaway

I just looked in my archives to see what I was up to in February last year and discovered that on this day one year ago I started my blog!

I wish I had a new layout to post on my blogiversary but the only things I have been making are a valentines card (that's a bit rubbish unfortunately) and playing with inks on scrap card which I have now cut into ATC sized pieces but have no clue what to do with them!

I had planned on scrapping tonightbut Izzy is poorly. Half way through Eastenders she started crying, I went up to see her and she had been really sick. Poor little thing was so miserable looking and was all shakey. Darren was of course super helpful (or not) and declared himself unable to deal with sick so muggins here had to clear it all up and get the washing on.

Anyway, let's hope it was just a one off thing. As an indicator of how poorly she was feeling I had to put Mr Monkey in the washing machine and we put the spare monkey in the freshly changed cot... she didn't even notice.

Anyway, enough about sick.

I can't believe I have been blogging for a whole year. It is pretty cool to be able to look back and see what I was doing when, I am also amazed how many people stop by and read my blog and some even take time to post a comment. I don't know quite why I find this surprising, I love reading other peoples blogs and try and leave a comment every so often, but I guess it surprises me that my blog is in the least bit interesting to anyone!!!!

So, as I seem to be getting quite a few hits at the moment post CHA I guess some people must be reading so I thought I would give some goodies away to celebrate my "blogiversary!" Just post a comment on this post and I will pick a name out of a hat to get a little box of goodies - not sure what but I like sending presents!

Anyway, thanks for coming by and reading \ posting comments, I'm looking forward to the next years worth of blogging!

Mel xx

Anabella Hotel

I have had a couple of e mails asking about where we stayed so here are a few pictures. Unfortunately i didn't get one of our room but I think they have some on the hotels website. We stayed at the Anabella which is on Katella Avenue. It is on the same block as the convention center but you have to walk all the way round to the other side to get in to the convention center - CHA provided shuttles which sounds a bit lazy but when you are lugging bags full of catalogues they are very welcome!

The hotel is also located across the street from Disneys Californian Adventure. There is a gate into the parkig lot a little way up the street opposite our hotel and you can walk through and get the disney trolley cart which takes you up to the main entrance plaza for both parks and Downtown Disney.

The hotels pool area looked nice but we didn't venture in - It was too cold!

I did however snap a picture of that. The service was very good and we were happy with the room. It isn't as posh as the Hilton or the Disney Grand Californian which we also went in for various reasons but we thought it was good value for money and the hotel restaurant; the Tangerine Grill, did a Fillet Mignon to die for! :) We went to Cocos which was across the street for breakfast most days and they did the most fantastic biscuits. Biscuits are one of the things I love best in America. They are not what we know as biscuits (they are cookies) but an American biscuit is like a scone but lighter and fluffier. I LOVE them. I think they are made with buttermilk. Must google for a recipe or ask Annie!

Anyway, regarding the hotel, I would recommend it if you want reasonable proximity to the Disney attractions and good value for money. If you want to live the high life then go stay at the Grand Californian Hotel at Disney, it was beautiful!

On our last night we took a short cut back through the Grand Californian and the lobby was gorgeous! There was even a little side section with a roaring fire and lots of chairs round it. We managed to get lost trying to cut through from Downtown Disney on a shortcut back to our hotel! We had just been to the Rainforest Cafe for our last nights dinner. This eating venue is always "an experience" and as Mum hadn't been before we went.

We also bumped into Lorraine and her family who were eating there for Zoes birthday - Happy Birthday Zoe! Poor Lorraine and Kirsty both looked a little the worse for wear after their illness, thankfully they were both over the worst and ready to enjoy the rest of their holiday. Lorraine was, as usual, very sensible and had done her CHA ordering from the catalogues in her sick bed so she could concentrate on getting better and enjoying the family holiday

Blogger is once again not being helpful and has drawn the lie at one picture on this post. Man I am tempted by Typepad! Will try and add the other relevant pictures later.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Rub Ons

We have ordered a whole range of embellishments but I thought I would upload some pictures of some of the yummy rub ons we saw at CHA. I don't have the order details here so can't say exactly what we ordered but I know we have loads of gorgeous rub ons coming our way in the next few weeks and months (some of the very newest items are not yet ready to ship unfortunately)

In addition to gorgeous embellishment rub ons anyone who knows me will know I love all things alphabet related so of course there will be new alphabets in a range of product types including chipboard, cardstock and rub ons. You've got to love these script style rub ons, elegant script without being so fussy that its illegible and well designed enough that you can properly create joined up script style titles and captions.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Basic Grey Register of Interest

We are once again going to be offering the Ragister of Interest for the new BG lines. By adding your name to the list you secure first dibbs on the packs when they arrive. We don't take your payment, just hold the required items for you. Then when the delivery is imminent we will contact you and you can confirm your order and make the payment. This enables us to have pre prepared boxes for the stash to go in and voila! They go out immediately that they come in.

So here they are:



Scarlet's Letter

Stella Ruby
To add your name to the register of interest e mail me and let me know which packs you are interested in. Easy!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Back Home

Just a quick post to say we are safely back home. I still have loads of photos to share so will get them off the laptop and onto my PC for editing ASAP. Flight home was bit dodgy, lots of turbulance which is no fun. It was also really weird as we took off at 5:15pm and landed at 11:20 a.,. so it was an overnight flight but because of the time difference by the time I settled down to try and have a little bit of sleep they were almost ready to put the lights on and serve breakfast... Hence I am shattered. Will post more piccies soon.

Also I have just got in and on my monitor the pictures I uploaded are showing very different to how they were on the laptop. I have no idea now what they actually look like to anyone reading!

Nye for now zzzz *snore* zzzzz

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Basic Grey - As Promised!

Here are a few pictures from the Basic Grey stand. The first picture shows a large display they had on the outside wall of their booth.

The layout shown is a huge version of one of their designers 12x12 layout - it was printed about 30" square. Very eye catching!

I love the cute little box ad baby shoes all done in Basic Grey paper.

I have also added a photo of some of the lovely new wholy cow rub ons.

As always we will of course be getting the new Basic Grey lines as soon as they are available at the UK distributor. I imagine we will be doing a register of interest - keep you eye on the blog \ website \ newsletter for details of this.

We don't fly home until tomorrow (Thursday) so we went on a little sight seeing tour today. Our tour guide Johnny was quite something! Will post some pictures of the sights and of course Mr Monkey on his grad tour in the next post. Plus of course a few more product pictures.

What do you want to see? Let me know what you would like to see and if we took pictures of it I will post it!! Here, just for Nicki, is Mr Monket, wearing the classy Minnie Mouse Sunglasses I bought for Belle, chilling out on Venice Beach LA!

adopt your own virtual pet!
Crafty Blogs