Sunday, September 28, 2008

Creative Scrappers Sketch #18

This is sketch #18 from Creative Scrappers last week so I used these lovely Bo Bunny papers I've been hoarding for a while to create this layout of my mum and her sister Marie who lives in Australia. They have the most incredible bond despite the miles between them and I reckon it started with all the dancing and shows they did together on the Gaiety stage when they were children.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day out in Belfast...

I set off early this morning in the fog to meet up with Annamarie and from there we took a little trip to Belfast. Officially it was a public relations exercise to visit the craft shops up there, tell them about our big Halloween Megascrap event with Donna Downey and Anita Mundt. Hey it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!

We had a lovely breakfast in the Castlecourt shopping centre, stopping by the gorgeous Molton Brown shop (where we met THE most friendliest and helpful assistant) and then headed over to Bradbury Graphics. Wow it's a great shop - jam packed with craft materials - all the great brands and tons of albums and stamps. Then it was over to Craftworld -bigger again with a huge range of all things crafty. Finally after making a quick stop in the very impressive Victoria square shopping mall we found Forget me knots - another little craft shop close by. We were in our element and came away with our leaflets and posters deposited and our purses a little lighter. Ok if truth be told I went a little nuts on the stamps - just couldn't leave them behind!

So then, as we were in the vicinity - well almost, we took a brief (3 hour!) trip to IKEA - well it would be rude not to! We had a great day, even despite the missed turn down the A1 to Dublin ('cos we were too busy chatting!) and a detour off the Enniskillin motorway to Portadown, we got home an hour ago. We're hoping some of the Northern crafty girls will make a trip as the venue is so central to anyone from over the border. It's actually on the main Belfast to Dublin road so no problems finding it;-) This week we have announced that you can buy half day tickets to the event to suit anyone who wants to make the trip up and back in one day. Book your place here ;-)


Friday, September 26, 2008

Cheryl's People Imagery online photography course

I'm really enjoying Cheryl's online course and last week I took these shots of the kids playing unawares that I was stalking them with my camera and long lens. I love the expression of the girls - you can just tell how strong their friendship is in the simple act of doing each other's hair...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day out in Avondale...

Today we took a trip to meet our good pals Niamh and Ollie in Avondale, Co Wicklow. It is the birth place of Charles Stewart Parnell and there's beautiful grounds to have a ramble and a picnic. We haven't seen them in ages so it was lovely to just sit and chat in the sunshine and catch up with each other's lives. The kids were hysterical with excitement when we first met - it always amazes me how they pick up again instantly. We finished up the day with a lovely meal in Avoca - the place they call the meeting of the Waters (today it was the meeting of the Watters and Flanagans ;-)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Just home from an absolutely fabulous day at It was an early start, leaving Dublin at 6am in order to set up the shop with Annamarie. I taught two double layout classes and it was a lot of fun - it's always great to catch up with the girls you haven't seen since the last event. I have to say total hats off to Sharon and Christine who pulled off an excellent event. There was an amazing buzz in the craft rooms today - such a warm and friendly bunch of women and of course the shopping was galore!

The highlight for me was taking Shimelle Laine's class 'I'm a girly girl'. The class was fantastic - such a generous kit but the real highlight was experiencing Shimelle's unique classroom style. Not only were we each given a complimentary mini portrait session by Shimelle as an addition to our class kit but we were treated to the story of how she began her cupcake obsession. She's such a sweet sweet girl! ;-)

So here are the classes I taught today;

Relax and Chill


I even won a bottle of wine for the tutor challenge - I made this LO this morning as a last minute entry;-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cheryl's People & Imagery Photography Course

I am enjoying this online course mainly because it forces you to try out new techniques and test yourself a little which is always a good thing;-) This week the postie brought me a special pressie - a new portrait lens (Canon 85mm F/1.8 USM) and I am loving it. All the focus goes to the face creating creamy complexions and nice blurry backgrounds. These are my submissions for Module 2 along with a couple more which I liked how they turned out. A little bit of tweaking was done in the second set only.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Duchess and other things...

Annamarie and I went along to see 'The Duchess' last night. Boy did women have it tough in those days LOL! Seriously it was a visually stunning movie, beautiful costumes, spectacular hair 'do's, aristocratic mansions to die for, a compelling storyline and of course the flawlessly beautiful Kiera Knightly. Annamarie and I did wonder if she looks like that on a Monday morning? No one in the world is that blemish free surely? Anyway, I loved the movie and the scrapper eye in me couldn't take my eyes off the fabulous costumes and vintage wallpapers - perfect for patterned papers! (tee hee!)

So to crafts this weekend I am teaching 2 classes at Both of my classes are double layouts so we will be busy as we have to complete each in an hour. Here's a sneak preview of what we will be making;

Magical - Travel themed layout

Relax and Chill - Summer themed layout

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creative Scrappers Sketch #17

I'm really enjoying the sketches over on Creative Scrappers. This is the weekly challenge #17 designed by Alison Kope.

For this layout I used some gorgeous Prima Marketing, transparency, Autumn Leaves stamps and some pieces of loose chipboard which were buried at the end of my chipboard stash - including some borrowed (ahem!) from my kids playroom. SHhhhhh! ;-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

I found this over on Carrie's blog, what tarot card are you?

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Churchtown Class

We had a lovely relaxing morning in Churchtown quaker hall for our monthly scrapbooking class and crop. There's something special about that little meeting room - maybe it's the peace and quiet or the sun lit room but it's a great place to sit and crop (and chat!)... And there was plenty of chat today ;-)

We made this interactive layout using Theresa Collins monochromatic papaers. I love designing interactive layouts because there is always an 'ooh or and ah' factor when people realise that there's something more to it-usually a slider panel or a pop up. I got that reaction today when I revealed the secret panels;-) Thanks to everyone who came along and lovely to meet the newbies who came to the class. Annamarie will be taking the next class on Oct 4th -watch out for the notice on

...and this was the class Annamarie taught last month at Churchtown, using the fab new Prima Marketing papers. Absolutely love them - can't wait for Anita Mundt's class at Halloween Magascrap as she is using another selection from Prima Marketing ;-)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Churchtown Class Sat 13th Sep - Sneak Peaks

In this week's class in Churchtown, we will be making an interactive layout on a black & white theme. The papers we are using are by Theresa Collins and you will need to bring 2-3 small B&W photos (around 4''x4''). Bring 4x6 and trim if neccessary. The theme I have chosen is 'Remember the days' however you can change the title/theme to suit your photos. Further details in the Class and Workshop section of Spaces limited so booking essential.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cheryl's Online Photography Course 'People Imagery'

I have just signed up for Cheryl's third online photography course 'People Imagery'. I spent the afternoon on my first assignment and this is the end result. You can see from some of them that there is evidence of bribary in the form of a bowl of M&M's! Lucy was a good model in the end. I decided not to edit any of them as I want some constructive criticism ;-) (be gentle!). I'm happy with how they turned out.
Creative-Scrappers Sketch

Congratulations to Kate who had her first reveal as designer on Creative Scrappers today - lovely project Kate!

I loved this sketch and had the perfect set of photos and papers to go so I tried it out and this is what I came up with...

The photos show Eva when she was just 7 months old chewing her way through a pampers box. I was so besotted by her cuteness as a first time mum I had the cheek to send these photos to the marketing dept of Pampers telling them that they might be interested in using them. I can laugh at myself now ;-)


Saturday, September 06, 2008

September Class 'If I could turn back time...'

Thanks to everyone who came along to today's class in le Cheile, Donnycarney. We made this double layout using the new 7 Gypsies 'Nottinghill' papers. This photo shows my grandparents on their honeymoon in Avoca, after they had eloped to get married. My Nana lived in Dublin and grampa used to come into the plant and seed shop where she worked to chat her up. Eventually he asked her out and their first date was to see the movie 'Me and my girl' with Deanna Derbin. I actually think she looked very like her in her day. She was beautiful.

Eventually Nana's father (my great grandfather) heard about their blossoming relationship and didn't approve as she was a good deal younger than grampa (she was 19 and he was 28). So, in an attempt to split them up he took a job in the midlands as a violin teacher and moved the whole family away from Dublin. [Ironically, as it turned out, she was living in a house which is only ten minutes walk from where I live now - funny how we end up going back to our roots somehow!] Before she left grampa gave her a £5 note (which was so much money back then) and told her to sew the note into the hem of her coat, which she did.

The next bit is the part I don't much about but Nana eloped and got on a train to Dublin staying with her best friend (Mary Norton- I do remember this bit!) until she was able to arrange to get married to Grampa. I know her parents didn't go to her wedding (which is so terribly sad) and it wasn't until her first son was born 2 years later that they got in touch and patched things up. If I could turn back time I would ask them to tell me again all about their love story...

And this is the happy pair on their wedding day. This story of theirs is one of the reasons why I scrap. If I didn't write it down my children or future grandchildren would never know how they came to be...It makes me wonder what would have happened if she had never caught that train???

Friday, September 05, 2008

Inspiring Video

I came across this today on another forum and had to share - what an amazing guy!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Month In The Life...

At the end of July I set myself a creative challenge of taking at least one photo a day for the month of August. I thought it might be an easy challenge but I sometimes struggled to find something interesting to capture-I do have a photo of a pile of laundry because that was the highlight on one particular day! It must be all of that rain we had over the last 30 days! However it wasn't all about my washing - I had a scrapbooking class, a holiday in Kilkee, a trip to Ikea in Belfast, a birthday, a craft room overhall, a first day in school, a family photoshoot in Farmleigh, a wedding anniversary, a lunch in the hotel we got married, a night in Carton house, a day at the museum (blah blah blah)... so there's lots to talk about at least! Anyway I kept to my challenge and have a nice portfolio of photos to scrap in an album which is all ready to go. It will be an interesting exercise to continue over the coming years.

Here's a snapshot of the past month in my life.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Travel themed creativity

As we didn't have much of a Summer, I've been working on some travel themed layouts as a way of reminding myself of previous sunny days...

This is the class we did with Annamarie in Whitehall a few weeks ago- a travel themed gate fold album of our holidays in Italy this year..It's a cleverly designed little album jam packed with photos and tags with all the memories written down.

This one was about our honeymoon trip to Pnang nga bay in Thailand when we visited James Bond Island. It was an incredibly beautiful place - I often think about it and the native people we met there as it was in the heart of the tsunami region a few years ago. This one was inspired by a Karen Burniston class I took in Holland last year.

Ok this one was taken in Oz'99 when we visited the Daintree rainforest. Crikey it was one of the scariest places I've ever been. The place we stayed in (Daintree Hotel) was beautiful and idyllic by day but creepy and scary by night - and I mean dangerous (yep poisonous as they turned out to be) hairy scary fang-faced spiders the size of your palm and lizardy things called gekko's crawling all over your walls as the lights went out while they changed over the hotel generator. I didn't sleep a wink when I was there - way too terrified! The best(worst) bit was when we took a walk down to the beach via a shortcut and came across one of these signs telling us that the river (yep that one right beside us) was inhabited with scary crocodiles. It was at that point that I realised I was an out and out true city girl LOL!

After seeing the movie 'Mamma Mia' I was inspired to make this one about our many trips to Greece and the islands we have visited (Simi, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Spinalonga) and all that Greece means to me -gorgeous feta cheese salads, bouzouki music, crystal seas and blue skies...we've promised ourselves a trip back to do the islands once the little ones have grown up and left us;-)

This one is not so exotic but still a favourite place to visit -Fintra Strand in Donegal - a quiet and isolated cove overlooking the north atlantic..

..And this one is a travel LO of a different kind. It's a sneaky peak of my class next Saturday in Donnycarney called 'If I could turn back time' and the idea behind it is if you could go back for a just a few minutes and ask someone a question who has passed on, what would you ask?...

There are still spaces available for this double LO class - check out the forum for details under crops and get togethers. We will be using the gorgeous new 7 gypsies paper range 'Nottinghill'.