Tag Archives: Memory Keeping

last ever trip to Ally Pally!


on saturday i went off to the stamp and scrapbook show at Alexandra Palace. i’m kind pleased this is my last time of going because its getting very card making focused. very few dedicated scrapbook stands.

i had a small wish list!, but somehow, as always, things managed to jump into my bag!.

so here is the haul…..


above :: stamps, stencils, 2 acrylic blocks, a small bottle of glossy accents and another dabber thing! i love the Lavina Stamps, the examples she had up on her booth were magical!.


below :: a collection of small print 12x12s, some journalling cards


below :: some inks!.


below :: all the stamps i have got so far for Project Life. there is one set i am going to order from the USA, and i have one set on their way as well!.



i’ve just arranged for the stuff i need to send home to go this week, rather than being frantic in November. this has worked out well, because i had intended to send this haul of things for PL by post so i could have it ready for Jan 2014. with the stuff going this week, it’ll be there by xmas, or just after and i’ll label the box its in so i only open that box!.

now i need to be very disciplined and not buy anything more because after thursday i’ll have to carry it in my suitcase!.


the makings of a mini album


late last year i discovered Kathy Orta on You Tube. i made her lap book, which i left in NZ at Xmas time. when i came back i watched some more of her videos and decided to make a mini album. one saturday i had LM (8yrs) round for a few hours and she saw it and wanted to make one as well. so we started together. we got as far as making one set of pages together and i made another set. time marched on and it was getting near the move out date in May so i quickly made the basis of the hidden hinge while i still had my scoring board, and i gathered a few supplies and put them aside so they wouldnt get packed.

this month i’ve been caring for her again after the child care worker hired to start decided not to show up. so we have finally starting finishing this album. i gave up the idea of making mine and have just concentrated on getting hers done. she has chosen all the papers herself – mostly BG, and cut and glued. i’ve supervised and done the more trickier gluing. we made a cover and put in the hinge – not quite what Kathy had in mine but it works for an 8yr old!.

i’m about to start gluing in the pages and she has some more decorating to do, then she can add her photos and words.

this is where we are as of today……

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each page set has a variety of interactive features so shes going to have alot of fill in!.

and notice – shes been in the washi tape!!.

its pretty good going consider my craft room is in NZ!

finally….i can reveal……


my special project!.

please note, i’ve never made a quilt before in my life, and if you are an experienced quilter/sewer, dont concentrate too hard on the pictures!!.

for a last few months i’ve been working on a quilt made of baby clothing for the child i cared for for the first 5yrs of her life. her mother and i talked about this a few years back and she liked the idea so we piled a heap of clothing into a bin and i tool it home.


there the bin sat for a few years – i’d look round for inspiration and ideas and tried a bit of hand sewing but it just wasnt working for me. then a year ago i looked after the young lady for 3 nights while her parents were away and with the money from that job i treated myself to a sewing machine. from then, things looked up. i found an idea and template i could work with. then other projects and holidays got in the way!. finally, once i finished work in feb i made a mental note to crack on with this before the sewing machine was packed up to send to NZ in May. that spurred me on. i unpicked all the hand sewn stuff, brought a proper cutting mat and rotary cutter, and had all the pieces cut in a day. i then had strips flying off the machine…..



until i had enough to cover the backing. the backing was made from a blanket the young lady used to play on as a baby, with another blanket she used inside for warmth.


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once the top was in one piece i felt it needed a boarder, so made one from a pair of old jeans of mine that i’d kept ‘just in case’. see mum….’just in case’ does eventually happen!!.


i also felt it needed the denim board to balance the denim in the quilt.

then things stalled again, as i’d hoped to start binding and joining it all together in the 2mth job i had, but that never happened due to an unsettled baby. so, that left the house sittng time i had. this worked out great, i could lie it on the floor – same floor she used to lie on the blanket on and play 7yrs ago!.


in the end i tied knots thru the layers to secure them, with a clear button holding it in place on the underside. i had had a go at hand quilting, but i didnt like the outcome, so went for something simpler. in the above photo you can just make out the buttons, and below you can see the tied off thread evenly spaced across the quilt.


and finally………ta dah……………



the before i ironed it photo, which is why it looks a bit uneven!. i forgot to photograph if after i’d ironed it!.

tonight i gave it to the family, and the parents and i are all feeling emotional about it, remembering her in the clothing. she was aged 1-3yrs when she was wearing these items – shes 8yrs now!!.

at some point over the weekend i’m going to take some more photos of her with it, as well as her parents, but may not share many of those.

i’m very proud of what i’ve made – it may not be a thing of beauty compared to whats out there, but there will be few that this many memories wrapped up in one piece. please be gentle on my beginner sewing abilities!!.

Sneak Peek…..




A little something i’ve been working on…..the top is now completely finished. all i have to do is join all 3 layers together. I hope between the madness of the coming week, i’ll be able to do that.

lots more photos have been taken, but all will be revealed in a ‘ta-da’ post!.

Kathy Orta’s Lap Book Project


Last weekend i discovered this video on youtube . i really liked the look of the album, and spent all weekend watching all parts of the series that had been posted thus far, then this week have been stalking for the next installments, which i watched. I was really inspired and wanted to make one but didnt think i should this side of my holiday.

all week i’ve been thinking about it and last night i just sat down and made it. this is how far i’ve got – the blank base is made, and now i’m waiting for a stash order so i can finish it off by making it pretty!. my plan is to take it to NZ and use it for JYC and if i have got it all ready to fill in, then completing it each day shouldn’t be a problem.

when i went into Rymans, here in the UK, i couldnt find the tabbed file folders like Kathy uses, so i got a pack of straight edged ones, and trimmed them to the size Kathy uses in the video.

in the first photo below, the 2 short flaps on the edge are the covers of the album, and then you can see an idea of the internal layout.

the second photo gives a good idea of all the surfaces that are available to decorate.

and the bottom photo shows it open out flat with the pocket on the back of the project.








I’m hoping my stash will arrive this week and then i can play next weekend making it pretty like Kathy’s, and have it all ready to take to NZ to fill with family memories.

Ally Pally Goodies!


this morning when i woke up (4:30am!) i decided that i would go to the scrapbook show and at Ally Pally here in north london. it is an amazing venue, and i must remember to take my camera with me one day to capture the London skyline – can see it all from here!.

i wanted a few bits and pieces for Project Life i plan to start next month. I wrote a shopping list and didnt deviate that much!. they have put the show in the large hall, and boy!, it makes a huge difference. it used to be that you had to wrestle anyone and everyone to move about. now, you have breathing space, although there were still stands where it was hard to move about.

so here is my haul, plus the first plays – love the stensil and the effects of the distress ink!.

Memory Keeping


I’ve been struggling with how best to record me memories lately, now that i dont directly look after children. when i did i used to take photos all the time, both of the children and of the places we went to. now i teach those who look after the children, so the photo opportunities are limited and i seem to spend all my time working or trying to get to grips with my life after a tough couple of years.

I tried the calender monthly page for 3 months i think and while i got to record what i did, it doesnt give you much scope for photos and decoration. i havent put up my Aug page and it is very ho hum!.

I’m being  drawn to Project Life more and more, and am beginning to think a version of this might suit my needs. I love to record what happens but things dont have for me everyday so i’m thinking a monthly spread for the most part.

I’m pretty much made the decision to try this way for a few months and see how that works for me. so i’m not going to continue the art journal calendar page for now. But i am still going to continue art journalling in my book as i enjoy that process.

My plan is to start my version of PL in the month of my birthday in 2mths time, so that gives me time to get some of my vast stash pile ready and in the right size/some form of organisation.

Incidently, i’m debating with myself about going on a day trip to Paris for my birthday, to replicate the one i was taken on 5yrs ago. Being as i’m heading to NZ for a month 3 wks later, i cant decide!.