My first retreat (October 2016)

Last weekend I attended my first scrapbooking retreat. What an event! So many new adventures! So here’s a detailed recount of my experience:


I arrived at the hotel at around 6:30 pm after having left the twins at home with the promise that “I would be home soon” 🙂 I checked into my room -pretty average hotel room, nothing special about it- and went down to the hall where the retreat was taking place. I met a lady in the lift on my way there and she showed me the seating plan and helped me find my seat when we got to the hall.

What a huge place! The room that we were using was much bigger than the one normally used for the crops and it was pretty full when I got there! If I remember correctly, there were approximately 6 tables with an average of 12-15 people per table… That is a lot of people!

On my table space there was a goodie bag with chocolates and snacks, a bottle of water and a scrapbooking pack as well. There was a letter from the organiser explaining the times and activities taking place during the weekend and also a list of challenges.

I decided straight away that I was not going to take part on any of the challenges, as you had to put your pages on the wall for everybody to then rate, and because of the way that I scrapbook with my books, there wasn’t an easy way for me to enter the challenges. So I decided to skip them.

A little while after my arrival, Claire arrived too. I know Claire from the Facebook group and we’ve also met before once at one of the crops, so at least I wasn’t completely alone! Unfortunately I didn’t know anyone else at our table. The rest of the people that I know from crops or facebook groups were already sitting in a group table. I must admit that I was a bit jealous of this. I went to the retreat for the break from my routine and to scrapbook a lot, but I also wanted to build a little bit on the friendship with the “Bracknell crew”, and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance. There were at least 15 ladies on that table and they all knew each other, they were a group. So much so that on the Saturday they were all wearing marching t-shirts and all! It felt a bit intimidating, like a closed circle… However, I didn’t let that affect me and I still had a great time.

On the Friday I only managed one layout. A little while after arriving, there was dinner included, so I took a little bit of time to relax having dinner and chatting to some of the ladies. So after more chatting and hardly any scrapping, I finished one layout and decided to go to bed.


I got to the hall at around 10 in the morning, after having breakfast at the hotel. Claire, who was sitting next to me, didn’t arrive until well past noon, so the morning was very quiet. The other ladies on my table were not really the chatty type, so we all just got on with our layouts.

For lunch I had a sandwich in the hotel bar. The hotel gave me a £5 voucher to spend for declining to have my room serviced that day, so a £9 sandwich ended up only costing me £4. Kaching!

After lunch Claire arrived, and the afternoon was more entertaining. She is really chatty and very friendly, and she is even more crafty-crazy than me! There was another lady at the table who was very chatty, who also came in the afternoon, so that was good as made it very enjoyable.

For dinner I asked several times what everyone was doing and got no replies or shrugs (Claire was on a diet and didn’t eat much at all all weekend). So I ordered myself a pizza for delivery. After my pizza arrived a couple of ladies in my table said that they would have ordered with me had they known…. well, I did say!

I finished 8 layouts more (wow! huge number!) but by 10:30 again I was knackered and went to bed. A lot of the ladies, especially the Bracknell crew, stayed until much later. I heard stories of bottles of wine rolling and scrapping until well into the night.


Again, I made it into the hall at around 10 in the morning after having breakfast. However, I kind of lost my mojo and took me a while to get started again. Eventually I got the mojo going again and managed to finish three more layouts before packing up and going home.

Before going home, we all got to vote for our favourite entries in the challenges. As I left before the results were announced, I didn’t get to see who won. I found this a bit annoying, actually. It would have taken the organisers very little to take a photo of the winners and let everyone know. But, nevermind, I suppose next time I need to stay longer if I want to find out!

All in all I had a good time, but I think I would have enjoyed it better if I had had “friends” with me. All the groups are already made and it seems hard to “infiltrate” these circles. Conversation at my table was sometimes a bit forced and not all that natural, given that some of the interlocutors didn’t know each other that much. So when I heard real laughter coming from the other many groups of friends I felt a bit of lack of belonging.

But hey, I’ve only been going to crops for less than a year, and I see some of these people only once every couple of months, so I can’t expect them to welcome me into their already made group just like that! It will happen with time…

So here are the layouts that I made over the weekend!

Crazy hat

Balance bikes

Hello friends

shine today

Greedy chops

New skirt

breakfast club

round round

Love you loads

meeting pepper

world book day

wagamama selfies






Artful Angels Crop – October 2016

What a fantastic day! This time was a million times better than the last crop at Artful Angels. Maybe it’s because I had serious lack of sleep last time, but this time it was a completely different experience. Everyone was friendlier and I chatted with all the ladies at my table. We even had lunch together and I could feel like the relationships are starting to build (with me – they all know each other already)

Scrapping-wise, the day started slow and it took me a long time to finish the first layout, however, after lunch I managed to get so much more done! Although, I must admit that some of my layouts were very plain this time, making them faster to build.

And without further ado, here they are!

Mum's birthday selfie

Love these moments


Grandma's garden

I haven’t unpacked anything since I will be going straight into the scrap cafe retreat on Friday! So excited about it!

TBT – Happy Halloween

Hello! Apologies for the lack of posts lately. The truth is that I haven’t done much crafting at all since the crop in Reading last month! Life has kept me busy and the loft conversion has kept me out of my craft room!

I’m attending an Artful Angels crop this coming Saturday and a full weekend retreat in Bracknell the following weekend, so I will hopefully be catching up with lots of layouts on the twins scrapbook!

Today, however, I bring you a Throw Back Thursday from last year’s Halloween’s season. Halloween is nearly upon us, with lots of costumes and pumpkins everywhere, so I thought it was adequate to show you these two creations.

This first one is a bunting that I made with my silhouette that we hung outside our front door for the trick-or-treaters. I was very proud of it and kept it to use again this year 🙂


The second one is a little addition that I made for the treat-or-treat bags. At this point last year I was still trying to promote my “business” so I thought these would be a great marketing idea (however I can already tell you that they didn’t work one bit – I won’t bother to make these again this year, as they took me quite a while to make! I made approximately 50 of them. The “shop” website address was stamped at the back of the card)


Scrap Cafe Crop – Reading September 2016

Apologies for being so late writing this post. I’ve had a very busy week!

I had a nice time at the Scrap Cafe Crop in Reading last weekend. I sat next to a really lovely lady called Lynne and we got on quite well. I wasn’t as productive as I could have been (only three layouts!) but I am very happy with the result of all three of them.

Savo(u)r the small things


For this layout I used a very large card with the title. The card was from a “project-life-style” collection, although I can’t remember which. I bought it at the crop shop and threw the packaging straight away, so can’t remember the name. I decided to delineate the outside of the words to give it a bit more interest and I really like how it turned out.

The rest of the backing papers are from Simple Stories “Sunshine and Happiness”, and the embellishments are from one of Lottie Loves Papers kits, but I forget which one.

(I’m just realising that it is going to be very difficult for me to come up with a list of products used in my layouts as more often than not I just throw everything into my stash and forget about collections or manufacturers)

Dad tickles

For this layout I used a sheet of paper from the Fancy Pants Millie & June. I fussy cut the hearts that I like the most and used them to border my photo. I used other papers from the same collection for matting the photo.



Rain Rain go away

This layout has been praised quite a lot on Facebook on the last few days. I really like it, the embellishments really work well, however it is not my most favourite layout so far.

The embellishments are mainly from the Echo Park collection “Sunny days ahead”, although there are a couple of Shimelle’s stickers and also a few Sn@p ones.


My next crop is on the 8th of next month, Hursley again. And the week after that is the retreat in Bracknell! I am so excited about the retreat, I can tell you!

#TBT – Motherly Love

Facebook very kindly reminded me the other day of this layout, a very early one in my scrapbooking adventures.


I remember how proud I was of that page, and to this day, it’s still one of my favourite ones. It’s a lovely photo of me and the kids (despite it not being in focus) and I was very proud of having done some embossing on the blue cardstock.

Anyway, here’s an updated photo of the layout as it stands today.