Wednesday, 28 September 2011


A speedy post today as I'm cramming in as much as I can while baby bug 2 naps and before we have to get baby bug 1 from school.

Once again my desk is covered in lots of blue related papers and things for the wedding, and unfortunately yet again I cannot show you any of the completed cards etc until after the big day (which is this Saturday, so not long now).

I also thought I'd share with you my new desk extension (not as glamorous as it sounds!)....

As I've been working on and off on the wedding stuff over days and I don't have a dedicated craft space I decided to just keep shoving all the stuff I was using into this mega box and then chucking it under the desk, away from tiny (chocolate covered) hands.  By the way this is also a very useful technique for making your house look almost presentable to visitors (just don't let them into the room that stashed full of boxes and baskets of your stuff).

As I mentioned in a previous post it was recently my Grandad's birthday and I managed to make a (very last minute) card for him. 

He is a keen gardener and last christmas I gave him a trug filled with lots of gardening related stuff including some sweet pea seeds.  Everytime I've been to visit him over the summer he's been telling me how wonderful the sweet peas have been and he always gives me a bunch of them (along with some lavender, callendula and montbretia) when I go to visit, so this seemed very appropriate.  The image has been decoupaged and mounted onto manilla card stock.   I would have posted a photo of the flowers he gave me but I wasn't organised enough to take a picture of them earlier and they are a bit droopy now.

In other news my desk has been graced this week by a new printer!!!

It's a canon pixma ix6550  and capable of taking paper up to A3.  The main reasons for getting this were so I could print onto card (something my previous printer did not agree to at all) and so I can print on 12x12 scrapbooking papers.  I used it almost as soon as it was installed to print some stuff for the wedding onto card and it worked like a dream, I am so pleased with it so far.  I am now able to print directly onto card, which is going to make my life a heck of a lot easier (previously I had to print sentiments onto paper, then mount them onto a tag or something similar cut out of card and then add them to the card).  So all in all I am a very happy bunny.

Just before I go, another quick reminder that I have a giveaway on here for some digital scrapbooking software, which nobody has entered yet, so at the time of writing you would have a pretty good chance of winning it if you entered ;)   (See Saturday 24th September post for details, I would have linked to it, but I think my link would just send you to my blog homepage).

Best be off (must not forget to pick up child from school, must not forget to pick up child from school..).  I will make a serious effort to get round more desks this week, after my terrible attempt this week which left me visiting people at about 10.00 last night.

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Marie

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Giveaway - digital scrapbooking software

Hello all, as promised here is my blog giveaway...

I was very kindly given a copy of My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software to review, so I jumped at the chance.  Although from the USA you can easily obtain your copy as I did (I am in the UK) by download, so no need to worry about extra postage costs etc.  So down to business. 

On first loading the programme you can either create an album from a designer template or create your own album.  For my first attempt I used a designer template - holiday simplicity  - to scrapbook some of my christmas photos.  There are 7 page designs within this template and you can have as many or as few of these in your album as you like.  Photos can be manually selected and added or you can select the photos you would like to be placed automatically (photos will be repeated as needed).

The workspace is divided into 3 areas.  The centre shows a preview of the page you are working on, with thumbnails of the rest of the album below.  The resources gallery on the left gives you access to other page designs/embellishments and a link to the MyMemories website where you can access more (with quite a few free ones, which is always nice), while the control panel on the right lets you play around with background papers, photos, text, work art, embellishments, shapes and extras video and multimedia, music and narration and album sharing options.
Screenshot of My Memories Suite

Designing your page either with a pre-made template or your own from scratch is very straightforwad.  You select the layouts, backgrounds, embellishments etc and add individually to your page.  Each element is easy to edit and resize and can be moved around the page by simiply clicking and dragging.  Any extra items you choose to download are automatically added to the options available in the control panel, and you can add any other embellishments/images you have stored on your pc.  I also discovered a useful text option which shapes your text to either a square or circle.

Once your album is made there are options to save as a slideshow, movie/DVD, photo album, calendar, card or page by page.  There are also options to share your album via print, as jpg, photo/calendar and as an interactive album (with links to websites, multimedia etc) which can be burned onto DVD, CD or viewed on other computers.  All these options mean your work doesn't have to be limited to being a scrapbook either.

I have previously had very limited experience in digital scrapbooking and found this really easy and straightforward to use and would definately recommend it for both novices and experienced digital scrapbookers alike.

And now for the added extras and giveaway for you dear reader:

1) Your very own Share the Memories code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!

To take advantage of this copy and paste the following code (to avoid errors): STMMMS48112

2) Your chance to win your own copy of the My Memories Suite.  To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite My Memories kit is from their website. 

Giveaway guidelines:

1. The giveaway will run from Saturday 24th September - Sunday 2nd October 2011.

2. The winner will be picked at random on Monday 3rd October 2011.

3.  The winner has 7 days (until Monday 10th October 2011) to respond before another winner is chosen.

Good luck and don't forget to share this among your friends and followers.

By the way... this is my first attempt at a giveaway, so hopefully it will run smoothly :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Hello again.  I write to you this week from under various piles of paper, card, embossing folders and other such paraphernalia (no change there then!).  

The wedding is now fast approaching and due to my smugness at finishing the name tags last week, there have been some last minute additions/amendments to those, so that task was resumed. I've now started work on the table plan, which brings with it the usual challenge of trying to get an a6 embossing plate to fit a4 and a5 papers.  In the picture you can see the basic suggested plan and the design for each "table", which are currently awaiting approval before I can get them completed, the table centres will probably be in a similar style.  So once get those out of the way it will be orders of service and then everything shall be almost complete. 

(There are names printed on here, but I've hd to blur them out for obvious reasons)

You can also see a basket there which I thought would look a bit more organised if I shoved everything in there rather than having is sprawled allover the desk - by co-incidence it seems to have doubled up nicely as an extra bin today too!

Life is getting pretty hectic, I've had a few trips to hobbycraft (usually fatal, but I managed to spend under £50 which makes a nice change), and then as I was passing also nipped into some local garden centres.  I managed to find an elusive birthday present for my Grandad - a seed storage box by the garden museum, which I was really pleased about as it was starting to look like he'd be getting a garden voucher or just money. 

While I was there I picked up some cyclamen and winter violas which I am hoping to put in the planters at the front of the house, instead of the half filled tub of compost and weeds which are currently gracing our doorstep!  Talking of gardening, I had the "bright idea" yesterday to go and dig up the potatoes with baby bug 2 in the garden (hmmmmm).  It seemed a good idea at first, while he was happily playing with the football and ride on car, then he noticed Mammy had a fork and was digging in the mucky soil which looked much more fun.  He soon joined me with a rake from the sandpit and started digging in the soil and practically falling in the vegetable bed.  Then he had great fun throwing all the stones off the path into my trug of newly picked potatoes, before taking the potatoes out and putting them in the sand pit. His final idea was to start eating the rake covered in soil, at which point the digging of potatoes was swiftly abandoned.  I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again - all those gardening with children books that tell you it's a good idea - they lie! :)  (to be fair I don't think they are aimed at 1 year olds, but I do like a challenge!)  Alongside the usual chaos my Grandma has just had a knee replacement operation, so I'm on duty to help out with hospital vists etc, I've applied for a job (eeek, that just took about a week to complete the application form), I'm documenting all my job searching evidence for job seekers (which I haven't been paid yet), keeping up with the lovely people at be enterprising and the enterprise club, attended my first friends of school meeting and have wedding rehearsals, dress fittings etc to attend as well as a hen night and... in more exciting news, I have been approached to host a giveaway on my blog - so if you are interested in scrapbooking or have any friends that are then keep an eye on my blog as hopefully in the next week or so there should be a lovely prize up for grabs - more on that later......

Well, once again it's time to go and hide all this mess in a dark cupboard somewhere before the brood all come home with Daddy and wonder (yet again) if we have been burgled!

Happy WOYWW to you all - don't forget to go snoop...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Welcome to another Wednesday – already, where do the days go?  I’ve taken a mini break from the wedding stationery (I did manage to get the place names made by the way, just the orders of service, table names, table plan and thank you cards to go!) and am working on a scrapbook commission.

I’ve moved from my usual desk this week to the dining room table and floor (will anyone ever make a table big enough for crafting?)  The trusty sizzix machine is out of the cupboard again as is the rest of “the cupboard”, with various crafting supplies.  The book is a christening gift with the page themes and photos chosen by the baby’s Mam.  Pictures of the completed page/book will be uploaded here or on my website once the book has been completed and received.

If you don’t know what WOYWW is, then have a look at Julia’s blog and see who else is revealing the mess crafts and projects currently gracing their desks/floor.  I'm off to tidy up before the baby bugs get too interested in all these tempting things lying around!

ps.  I did attempt to make this a scheduled post but it hasn't worked!  Does anyone know if there is a time difference you have to take into account when using schedule posts on bloggger?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A helping hand

A quick post to ask all my lovely blog followers and readers to support a new business.  I was speaking to Maxine from Personalised Parties at the Be Enterprising network today.  She is looking for people to vote for her on the enterprise nation website, so she can receive funding for her business.  In a nutshell she produces (surprisingly) parties in a box including tableware, prizes, games, party bags, balloons, decorations, craft kits, craft materials and party music and is looking for funding to expand her business further and to develop a new website.

Any votes/support would be appreciated (she needs to get 250) and please pass on to your friends and followers too.

Thank you lovely people :)

I am now off to dedicate the rest of my afternoon to testing/playing with some digital scrapbooking software, (more exciting news about that coming soon) and looking into a new printer ....  enjoy the rest of your day!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

WOYWW 118 and a big day

Back to the wedding stationery again - it's 23 days away, so I'm starting to get a bit panicky!  My desk/floor is a hive of activity making 84 place names.  They look simple enough (sorry can't show you a finished one yet due to secrecy), however everything is conspiring against me.  There is no way my printer is going to feed any of my card stock (I'm starting to think something is up with it 'cause it wouldn't feed photo paper the other week), meaning I have to print all the wording onto paper and then cut and mount onto card, due to the background being embossed and the cardstock only being coloured on one side I'm having to cut double amounts so I can cover the plain white card; then as the card won't feed into the printer I am using different materials to the original plan - of course I didn't order enough card to cover this did I, and they were bought off ebay where the shop no longer has them in stock (I see a big google search happening tonight), oh and the die cutters have stopped cutting cleanly.  And I haven't even started on the order of service yet!  Still.... it will all be worth it in the end, lets just hope the end happens in under 23 days time.

All that aside the big news is that baby bug 1 has started school today for the first time!  They've only been in until after lunch,but she came out full of smiles and has had a lovely time and even enjoyed her school lunch - yay!  The next challenge is going to be getting the school uniform off her.

Best get back to the rest of my jobs for today, will try and get on here tonight for a peek at other desks and stories.