Hand stitching on paper

Ok, so the other dayI tried to do “hand embroidery” or stitching, or whatever you call it, on paper. I’ve seen so many layouts with gorgeous embroidery that I wanted to give it a go myself!

As I scrapbook directly into a book, I thought I would practice first on some scrap cardstock. So I cut some hearts with a punch and made the holes using SU! Paper piercing guides (so useful! as I didn’t want to have to eye it)

Firstly, I wanted to use a thick needle because I knew I wanted to use twine rather than normal thread, however I found it impossible to pierce through the cardstock! So I chose a smaller, sharper needle which went through perfectly.
But when I went to actually “sew” with the twine, the cardstock kept being destroyed! So I went back to normal sewing thread which worked perfectly.

A very frustrating process, let me tell you. I don’t know if it’s because I was working on such small pieces of card that it kept bending down when piercing them. I’ve been recommended to make bigger holes (although, as I said above, the tool I was using wouldn’t even go through the cardstock) or to try to only pierce every other hole.

Adventure number one in “new scrapbooking techniques” FAILED! Must try harder. 🙂

Hand stitching failure

August’s Scrap Cafe crop in Bracknell

Last Saturday I attended my first crop in Bracknell (and my third crop ever! – The first one was south of Winchester and the second one in Reading. The Reading one is run by Lorraine, owner of “the Scrap Café” who also runs the Bracknell one)

We had quite a miserable day, weather wise, on Saturday so it was the perfect day to spend a few hours doing some scrapbooking!

The Bracknell crop takes place at the Hilton Hotel, which is on the A322 just a few miles off the M3. This is super convenient for me, because it’s a very straight forward drive. The crop in Reading is a very complicated drive going through Reading housing estates. I found it a very stressful drive. Bracknell however was very easy to find. So I have decided to stick with the Bracknell crop rather than Reading.

The room at the hotel is quite comfortable. I was sitting by a big window, so I had plenty of natural light. Although I am aware that there were plenty of other ladies sitting on the other side of the room without the natural light…

I already knew a few of the ladies from my previous crop in Reading, so it was great getting into the conversations without the awkwardness of the first time. They are a really nice bunch of women and I really enjoy their company. Certainly it’s a totally different experience than scrapping on your own!

I finally finished the last two layouts to complete my 2014 book and started working on 2015. In total, I managed 5 and a half layouts (although one was double). The “half” one, I finished when I got home.

And these are my favourite layouts of the day (I added some typed journalling to “A day at the farm” at home)

Sweet boy

Happy cousins

A day at the farm

Favourite products

Over the years I have bought many products. Some I’ve used and loved, and others have stayed almost untouched for a long time in my cupboards. It is only through trial and error that you get to find your own style and you you instantly know whether you’re going to use a product just by looking at it online (or at the shop)

In the early days I bought lots of “distressed” products, kind of with a grunge feel to them. Only after spending a fortune on paper pads I realised that I didn’t really like the distressed look at all! I much more prefer clean lines and bright colours.

So what are my favourite products?


I am obsessed with alphas. Be it in sticker form or Thickers. I love them! I can’t imagine not putting titles on my scrapbook pages, and they are super handy as well for personalised cards!

I haven’t counted how many alpha sticker sheets or thickers packs I have, but it’s lots. Believe me.


Embellishment stickers.

That’s what I call them, I’m pretty sure they have a different name… Hang on, let me go and find out… “Element stickers” or “Accent stickers”, that’s what some people call them.

But yeah, I also have tons of this. As I already have tons of paper, what I normally do is just buy the embellisment/element/accent stickers from paper collections. Some of my favourite online shops sell them loose, so I buy them all!

I haven’t counted how many I’ve got of this either, but definitely more than a 12×12 pizza box full 🙂


Colour mists

I have only been using colour mists for a few months, but for me now they are an essential product! I don’t use them on every layout, but on the ones that I do use them on, it gives a really nice finishing touch.

I only have less than 10 bottles, out of which three of those I use all the time (gold, charcoal and white) I want to expand my collection -plus I need to buy more gold one soon, I am running out!- to get more bright colours and especially a couple of shades of blue! I don’t have any blues and it’s my favourite colour!





#TBT – First layout in the 2013 book

When my twins were just 11 weeks old I decided to start a scrapbook to document their early days and milestones. Looking at this book now, I can see how new everything was for me, as I was just making up the pages as I was going along (I still do!).

The first “layout” (it’s not really a layout) I made in the back of the cover page, which is not something I would do now, and it doesn’t feature any photos. I did get an electronic typewriter on freecycle and used it a bit in the early pages, but I haven’t continued to use it lately (as it is more hassle to get it out than anything else. When I scrapbook I like finishing a layout in one sitting – I don’t like having too many “PHDs”* so it’s just faster to handwrite the journalling rather than getting the typewriter out)

(*PHD stands for Projects Half Done)

I hate that the double sided tape that I used on the left hand side has gone so dark over time and is showing through the paper. To be honest, the paper is super thin, almost like photocopier paper, but still, the glue should never show!

Glue showing!

The layout on the right hand side appears to have no photos, but it does! There are six or seven in total and they are all hiding inside the yellow envelope. They are the scan photos from when I was pregnant! They are way too delicate to put directly into the pages, and I really wanted to have the originals rather than photocopies, so putting them in a protective envelope was the best idea I got at the time.

The story begins here

You can see how I had not done much scrapbooking before. The pages are a bit of a mess without much cohesion. There’s stamping here and there, stickers in random places and the journalling on the right hand page seems to be in a very strange position. However, I was so proud of how the page turned out, and still to this day I love it. I love how it is the first page of the first book and it’s probably the most honest page I’ve done.

Upcoming album

I am about to finish my 2014 album, and I’ve got so many doubts about how to tackle 2015!
The 8×8 hobbycraft albums that I have been using are great, such amazing value and I have loved creating in a smaller scale than 12×12. However, it has become very clear to me that the prebound format is not the best long term: You are stuck with the order that you can create (if you scrapbook chronologically, like I do), there is no protection for the pages, and if you use thick embellishments your book will end up being full very quickly.
So what are the options for the next book?
Well, I have already decided that my existing 2013 and 2014 books are going to change. I am going to buy 8×8 page protectors, I will pull out the pages from the prebound book and insert them on a traditional D-Ring album.
I could continue doing this for the next books to come. To be fair, the price of the 8×8 hobbycraft books is not to be sniffed at, so much cheaper than buying individual scrapbooking sheets. However I know I don’t want to continue using prebound books.
The possibilities in my mind are:
  • As stated above, use the 8×8 books and then pull out the pages to put on a D-Ring traditional album.
  • Go full 12×12 traditional scrapbooking, although the prospect of so much space scares me a bit.
  • Give Project Life a go, at the end of the day most of the photos that I scrapbook are day-to-day photos, not special enough for a full 12×12 page.

I’ve got two layouts to finish on my 2014 album so I have to make a decision pretty quickly!