It’s been a year since some of my on-line friends, the Scrapmates, visited Fantail Grove for a retreat (you can read about the 2012 event here).

Last weekend we did it all again – and it was just as good this time around. As you can see from the image below, we worked hard. (Followers of this blog may realise why we are working in the living room this year, and not the garage craft space – go here to see the reason). Hard at work I was very pleased to get my 2012 Photo-A-Day project album up to date as far as the beginning of December, but the highlight for my own creativity was completing three layouts:

Waterfront WellingtonDH takes amazing photographs. These are from his daily walk between the railway station and his place of work and showcase just a little of how lovely (and busy) Wellington’s harbour can be. I wanted to try something new with my title lettering, and used plain chipboard letters from Kaisercraft. I inked these and then embossed them to give them a shiny finish. Next time I will have to remember that the grey of the chipboard substantially darkens the colours – but I’m pleased with how they turned out anyway.

Really Good at SleepThis layout was my response to the challenge I laid down to the Scrapmates: use machine stitching. I have stitched on the scalloped border strips, and over the lettering. I also used up some Scenic Route journalling cards that were already quite old when I got them – as part of my challenge to myself to make a good sized dent in my stash this year.

Haymaking with Farmer TomThis is my favourite of the three layouts I made. I think I am at last beginning to get to grips with layering items and I love how the clusters look. I am so glad to have used the Kaisercraft chipboard embellishment and some very old diecuts. I will forever be grateful to Shimelle for showing me how to repeat elements to bring unity to the design and lead the eye through the layout. I am sure I have lots more to learn, but I think this this is real progress.

Have you found that working with others inspires you to create more than you might have if you worked on your own?

Starting Points and Glitter Girl

I confess – I am a groupie.

The focus of my fixation? Shimelle Lane. Yes, you have heard of her before, and recently – she is the author of theĀ Learn Something New Every Day on-line course I’m doing that has led to this burst of bloggy creativity. As well as paid-for courses, Shimelle shares her scrapbooking knowledge on her blog, and through videos on the twopeasinabucket site where she is currently producing weekly Glitter Girl episodes.

I know that other Shimelle groupies will immediately recognise this layout as being inspired by her most recent Starting Point post – but those who haven’t already seen it can find it here.

As you can see from the amount of writing on the page, I had a wonderful wander down memory-lane remembering the reasons I enjoyed horse-riding so much, and in particular this lovely-natured horse.

Yesterday I enjoyed a few hours in the company of the Scrapmates (a bunch of on-line and now in-real-life scrapbooking friends). Here are the two layouts I completed:

Can you tell that both layouts are made from the same ‘recipe’? Yet they look different enough that I could put them in the same album (although they’ll actually end up in two – the top one in a Places album, and the bottom one in a People album).


High Tea

I’ve never been to ‘High Tea’ before, but I knew it was posh, so I made sure I flossied myself up:

I met my friends (the Scrapmates who had been at our place last month) at the James Cook Hotel’s Whitby Restaurant. Very classy – I’m glad I dressed up! Once we had all arrived and settled at our window tables we ordered tea from a selection of ten choices – I had Green Tea with Jasmine – and coffee for those who just couldn’t do without. Then the plates arrived. I shared a gluten-free platter with Kris:’

As the food was so exquisite, I took close-up photos of every layer. It tasted as good as it looks!

We were there for over two and a half hours and discussed all manner of things, as we tend to do. The world set to rights for at least five minutes, we left for our regular lives, encouraged and enlivened by our get together.

Crafty Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we’ve just had. Five of my scrapbooking friends came over to visit and spend some time creating together.

We had a yummy lunch (they provided all the ingredients, I had only to provide the plates and cutlery)!

We worked in the loft of our garage (where we lived while our house was renovated), which – by dint of relocating tables from elsewhere – became a crafting heaven for six.

I’d posed a couple of Challenges – here are three of the pages produced in response to Challenge #1 (use a pocket on a layout). Aren’t we clever! Unfortunately I am not clever enough to have remembered to take a photo of the results of Challenge #2, but there were lots of other pages and projects completed over the weekend.

In the afternoon a couple of the girls who had not visited before joined a tour and tasting I ran for visiting tourists. I was so pleased when they told me how much they had enjoyed the experience, and that they’d learned a lot – so affirming to have this feedback.

We went out for dinner on Saturday night to Goodness of Food Cafe in the neighbouring town of Carterton. All the dishes are gluten-free – honestly, you’d never know – totally delicious!

It was sad to say goodbye on Sunday – I hope we can do it all again soon!