Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sketchy Sunday no.40

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have taken full advantage of the nibbles and downtime to enjoy a relaxing and fun break.

I managed to take some festive photos, while not making it the priority. Ok, I haven't got that many, but I had a lovely time actually experiencing the day. It's a little too easy sometimes to get carried away with trying to document the season, so much so that you actually miss out on the I hope you got the photos you wanted, but not at the expense of a good time.

Sketch no.40 is made for one of those Christmas photos, although change the snowflakes to another shape and it's a sketch for any season. The Who, What and When subtitles have room between them to add some journaling or just the basics. Finally, add some bling to the snowflake row - Christmas layouts are the best excuse to indulge in my bling addiction...although I'm not sure I should be enabling myself!

Enjoy the rest of the season and I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. 

Happy Scrapping. 

Michelle x

Monday, 22 December 2014

Sketchy Sunday......on a Monday

'tis the season to be jolly and I so am, with the decorations, food, lights and general sense of excitement who can fail to be!

It appears the excitement got the better of me and I have mistaken Monday for Sunday and therefore am a whole day late with this weeks sketch.....better late than never, I say. So, here without further ado we have sketch no. 39.

A simple layout with a couple of embellishment clusters and a turned corner. Go nuts with sparkle to really capture the spirit of the Christmas.

So, what have I been creating for the festive season? Well, those of you who are regular visitors will have seen my mini advent houses and December Daily album. I've also made gift bags, a card - I know, I almost fainted myself! - a layout and a boxed tree as a kind of card/decor piece.

The proof I actually made a card

I hope you've all had a go at something festive - No, I don't mean mince pies - and are enjoying this wonderful time of year.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 38

It's a busy time of year and in trying to cram everything in somethings slide a little, so that's my excuse for a slightly later post today.....still, better late than never.

So for the very same reason I'm gonna keep it short and sweet, here it is Sketch no. 38.

Have a great Sunday and scrap up a storm.

Michelle x

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Dream Factory

As a bit of a change from my recent Christmas obsessed posts I thought I'd post something a little different. This is a less recent project but one I'm still pleased with....unlike some of my earlier makes which I now view with a less than favourable eye, I'm sure you know what I mean.

Masculine designs aren't always easy to come by for crafty projects, so when I discovered the Tim Holtz gears die I had an a-ha! moment. It gave this album a definite masculine feel, perfect as a home for photos from Ray's various shoots - hence the title Dream Factory.

The book is an envelope based album so it has large tags in the pockets, plenty of minis and smaller tags inside for yet more pics or journaling.

I used the.Papermania Chronology Paper line ....a real well as die-cuts using the gears die and some grungeboard embellishments.

 Two extra pocket minis add more space.

 A group of tags and minis are tucked behind a tag mounted on foam pads at two edges.

 Folder style minis add yet more photo space.

 The star metal tag is secured to a tag to make it easier to slide from the pocket. The acetate clock face on the opposite page provides the perfect place to tuck a tag photo mat.

I used the Chronology Gears embossing folder on some of the tags, on others I lightly applied peel-off stickers, inked and misted over the top and then removed the sticker....that's how I created the pattern on the clocks tag in the photo above.

So that's the proof, I don't always make a girly album....I admit most of the time I do...but not always and those gears dies and folders will definitely make a repeat appearance.

Happy Scrapping.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Christmas is is Sketchy Sunday no.37

It’s here….the tree is up with 480 lights, hundreds of deccies, several strings of gold beads and all topped off with sparkly golden angel hair – that stuff's always tricky to find!

Friday was tree shopping day and we hot-footed it down to the garden centre after I finished work early, purely to give us enough light to select the suitable spruce....... three garden centres later..... and there it was in all it’s 7ft bushy glory - our tree. Now getting it home was a bit of an adventure, we have a two-seater, very small car - luckily it's a convertible, so the roof came down and in went the tree in the passenger seat. I walked off to the local McDonalds, got myself a cuppa and settled in for an hour to wait for Ray to return to pick me up.

I admit we’re incredibly fussy when it comes to the tree – ok, maybe me a little more than Ray, but he has been known to perform a little tree surgery on a less than perfect specimen - it has to be the biggest, most perfectly shaped tree we can shoehorn into the living room and even then everything gets shuffled up to make room. I don’t care that I have to hop over the sofa to get to the utility room for a few weeks as long as it all looks hugely Christmassy. We even cover the sofa completely in a large rich, deep red, furry throw. Iridescent snowflakes hang from the ceiling on invisible thread and my Christmas cross stitch pictures…..products of a previous craft obsession….replace the normal artwork throughout the apartment.

New additions to the d├ęcor this year are my 24 mini advent houses. They have found a home lined up along my living room TV bench. Stuffed with chocolate covered honey and hazelnut gingerbread stars and Chocolate covered apricot filled hearts they match perfectly with my other altered advent calendar.

I’m also a big fan of decorating with lights, twigs and anything festive that springs to mind. My snowball light is a fruit bowl from Ikea and a string of snowball lights piled high, it gives a lovely soft pool of light. I also use some cheap curly twigs - £2 a bunch from Sainsbury’s – pop them in a plain glass vase, tie a large bow with wired ribbon and hang with mini baubles,  a real statement piece to fill a large space. Cheapie glass vases or bowls filled with different sized baubles always look good too. Wired ribbon can make all the difference when wrapping as well, it’s so easy to shape a large decorative bow which can be used to decorate pressies, trees, wreaths and anything else that sits still long enough.

Yes, I am a Christmas girl through and through, but that doesn't stop the crafting train and for those of you who have come visiting for a little inspiration here we have it: Sketch no. 37.

A great sketch for using up those scraps and adding a load of your favourite patterns - mix the spots, stripes, checks and florals and you'll be surprised how well it can work.

Happy Scrapping. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 36

Jingle Bells, jingle bells's here, tomorrow is December and I'm full of festive spirit. I had my first bowl of Christmas pudding Friday - the first of many - and I've booked a couple of days off work for shopping. My cameras are on charge ready for the December Daily pics and I've got a notebook earmarked for festive thoughts. Next Friday is tree day and even more exciting is the chance to see the reindeer that my chosen garden centre will be giving a home to for the weekend - how christmassy is that!

The mini advent houses are finished and ready to be filled with treats, we picked up some chocolate gingerbread hearts with apricot filling and some honey and hazelnut chocolate covered gingerbread stars - perfect for an after dinner treat.

So with the preparations underway it only leaves the latest sketch to post and here it is....Sketch no. 36.

Happy Scrapping. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Big 'Thank You Becky' Hop......

Let’s hear it, a big shout out for Becky James , formerly of Docrafts, who has spread her crafty wings and moved on to pastures new as a full on freelancer. I wish her the very best in all her endeavours, which I’m sure will be hugely successful as she really is a crafty goddess. Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration Becky. x

Now what better way to celebrate all things Becky, than to dedicate a Docrafts Team crafty blog hop to the talented lady herself. My creative team mates have been crafting up a storm and would love it if you would join in the fun and pay them a visit. You may already be on the trail if you’ve joined me from but if not why not make your way to Jill at and follow the hop from start to finish, you’ll find tons of inspiration along the way - see the blog hop path at the end of this post. 

So, on to some recent creative efforts…..I’m loving the festive season and all that that entails, so who can resist documenting one of the main events, tree day. This layout was based on my sketch no. 26 and is definitely a new direction for me.....I like it, a lot. 

Paper line - Papermania Craft Christmas

We always buy a real tree and it has to be the biggest one we can shoehorn into the living room. Add our huge collection of deccies.....every year it gets added to......and order the post tree takeaway - well worth a layout or three!

I've also been finishing the mini advent houses so here's the latest. 

I'll make sure to take a photo of the whole set, so you can see them in all their festive frosty glory.

 Finally here's the blog hop path, if you have the time do pop by and explore a little. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Joy To The World...

We love a tradition, from the takeaway after putting up the tree, the stockings at the end of the bed, the morning choccie from the advent calendar and the viewing of our Christmas movie collection........ Elf is usually the movie of choice while putting up the tree.

With this year's new advent we will have to split a second chocolate.....the season just got better!

So, the preparation is full speed ahead with two more houses complete and here they are......,just waiting to be stuffed with chocolate.

Happy Scrapping.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Deck the Halls...fa la la la

I broke out the scarf and gloves this morning and the shops are heaving with people looking stressed. The John Lewis's ad has made me teary and I now want a pet penguin, so Christmas is most definitely here....ok, not here, but it is getting very close.

After a concerted effort I have now covered all the houses in paper and the numbers are all on, just a bit of glittering, a couple of paint touch-ups and they're done. 

So, here we have a completed number 11. The snowflakes all have a touch of iridescent glitter, making it really sparkle in the light. 

Happy Scrapping. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sketchy Sunday no.35

Well, it's been a busy week here at casa de Chunka - a week off work, which meant I could finally get to grips with a bit of sorting out craft wise. I've had a good clear out, which led to dinner with friends turning into a card making session for their kids. All my old stickers and the odd pack of card blanks were put to good use....It's great when you give kids a bunch of crafty stuff and they just dive in with wild abandon.

My mini advent houses are practically finished, just a couple to be lined and the odd bit of sparkle to add......that's if I can stop myself adding yet more to those already done. I almost gave in to buying another advent calendar to decorate this week, but the voice of reason (Ray) spoke up and pointed out three advents might be sufficient.......he has a point, there's only so much chocolate I can eat.

I finally got around to joining in with the WOYWW hop hosted by stamping-ground, which I will definitely do again as it's always fun to discover new scrappy blogs and see some fantastic craft rooms. The only problem I had was getting a photo reasonably clear as my craft desk is tucked away in the corner of the study, not really conducive to a well lit pic.

Now, for the usual scrappy dose of inspiration, here's this weeks sketch....Sketch no. 34.

I hope you're all enjoying the run up to Christmas, I'm loving it and have planned tree day, which will be extra exciting this year as my garden centre of choice has real live reindeer paying a visit.... I must remember to take the big camera and if I get a decent pic I'll definitely post it. 

Happy Scrapping.

Michelle x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


I've finally taken the plunge and snapped a quick photo of my desk. It actually looks quite clear as I've been working on my advent houses and I was just adding the numbers to finish off the latest - not a particularly messy job.

I've also had a bit of a reshuffle as my desk is quite small, thank heavens otherwise I'd just let it fill up with odds and ends.

Anyway, here it is in all it's glory and now I'm off to nose around everyone else's.

Happy Scrapping.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 34

Morning Scrappers, can you believe how time is speeding up . It seems to go quicker with every week closer to the big man in red's day, but I'm loving it. Today I heard the first Christmas song on the radio.....a little early I thought, didn't stop me singing along though, but only because I was on my own as I have a truly awful singing voice.

Now, for those regular inspiration seekers here's this week's sketch. A real story teller's one this time around. I especially love multi-photo sketches for the festive season as there's always loads of photos from the big day, pressies wrapped, unwrapped, food and that's without all the family madness and evening chill-out. However, the chance of getting a great quality photo are not exactly in my favour, what with the indoor lighting and normal festive chaos, so sketches for multiple smaller photos are the way to go for me and if I do manage to get a photo I truly love then another layout to showcase it is more than justified.

The mini advent houses are getting there and to prove it here's another addition to the set.This little fella took the brunt of me not using glitter on the last one (21). Yes, that's right I went a little sparkle nuts and smothered the whole house in iridescent glitter, when the light hits this one watch out retinas!

An Xcut Snowflake die-cut from white glitter paper gives the frosty check paper a little more Christmas spirit. These snowflake dies are proving very useful.

I knocked up this festive wreath in super quick time with just some glitter paper backed with card for a little more resilience and a piece of ribbon, glitter glue and spritzing ink. Just change the ribbon and it will fit in with any festive colour scheme.

So, on with the preparations. More advent houses to follow, so pop by later in the week.

Have a scrappy Sunday.

Michelle x

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 33

It's that special day know the one where you have half a chance of a little crafting time. So of course you'll be needing a little inspiration and here we have it in the form of sketch number 33.

This sketch is a bit of a classic for me as I always find it tricky to get a number of the same size photos on a layout, but this sketch makes it easy. I can choose to use just one section as a photo or anything up to the four and if I really want to max out the photo count I can make several smaller photos into one image for a section or two. I use Photoshop Elements to do this, it's really easy and means I can print photos at any photo lab in any size I choose, as long as I make it fit on a standard size print.

No, you're not imagining things .....that is another house completed. This one is a little simpler as I couldn't cover up the lovely text design

I'm on the home straight - get it! - so I hope to post a flurry of houses in the next week or so.
I have to admit though, looking at the ones already completed, I am tempted to add more embellishments and I may give in to that, but at the moment I am going to finish them and then maybe touch up a few...a little extra bling never hurt anyone.

Enjoy a scrappy Sunday,

Michelle x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Do you hear what I hear.....

Christmas is most definitely coming and I'm eyeing up the various puddings with a worrying amount of enthusiasm.

In an effort to minimise my consumption of the festive goodies already filling the kitchen cupboards, I have set about my mini advent houses with gusto. So as promised here is the latest addition, even more twinkly in reality and finished off with silver glitter numbers and an iridescent roof.

Happy Scrapping. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Holiday home!

It's advent time again and I've put scraps to good use with this vision in frosty pink.

I used my Xcut Snowflakes die set to cut a glitter paper snowflake for the house front and glittered up a chipboard letter using 3d gloss finish and silver glitter.

I'm using silver glitter or silver glitter stickers for all my numbers and iridescent glitter glue for all the roofs. I like that keeping these two elements throughout gives the houses a real sense of consistent style while allowing for them to still have an individuality.

Well, enough with the verbose statements here we have it, house no. 9. 

Happy Scrapping. 

Michelle x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 32

Well, with Halloween just passed we really are in the run up to Christmas. Did you create any spooky projects? I decorated a couple of jars and made a quick little sweetie bag to fill a gap in my spooky decor and to submit as a project for Docrafts, using their free downloads papers.

The Trick or Treaters loved them, but I think that had a lot to do with the gross sweets I filled them with. 

Now with festive plans taking centre stage I also made this quick and easy pressie. A little tag mini album for those old photos and matching bag to be filled with retro sweets. 

Paper line - Papermania Craft Christmas

So onto the main event Sketch no. 32. 

I've stuck with the single image again this week and the flow of butterflies of various sizes can easily be substituted with other shapes to change the layout dramatically. For a Halloween version, bats would work brilliantly....I may do that version myself. 

For anyone following my advent house progress, pop by on Thursday for the latest instalment.

Happy Scrapping. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 31

Hi, thanks for visiting to read this weeks Sketchy Sunday post.

After a recent flurry of multi-photo sketches, I thought it time to get back to a single photo version. I designed this one with a Christmas layout in mind - suitable for a festive photo which has a bit of story, maybe one of our many traditions, so I wanted a fair sized space for journaling while keeping the photo centre stage and I think this fits the bill. This one is a sketch I can see me using again and again - a change to the embellishments and it's fitting for any subject matter.

So, without further ado, here we have Sketch no.31.

Now, if this sketch has got you in the festive mood checkout my latest mini album. For the first time I'm aiming to do a December Daily project this year. I created this album to house the photos and memories for that project. Each page will represent three days, one on the front, one on the back and one on the pocket tag. The big day has it's own large pocket page. 

I used the Papermania's Letter to Santa paper line and parts of a co-ordinating decoupage kit.

I cut flourishes using an Xcut Flourish Die set and Papermania Glitter Paper.

 This is the large pocket page for the 25th, extra space will definitely be needed for this one.

You may have guessed the base of this book was made using envelopes and some mount board for covers, all bound together with my trusty Bind-it-All, but you could just as easily use book rings - I would use at least three on each side for stability.

Are you aiming to do a December Daily for the first time? Or if you've done one previously, I'd be interested to know if you found it easy to take a photo a day, at such a hectic time of year or if you changed it to fit your lifestyle.

Happy Scrapping.

Michelle x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sketchy Sunday no.30

Can you believe it 30 sketches....30......that just seems crazy! So much has happened since that first sketch and my crafting has definitely improved.

I'm loving the triple photo layouts at the moment, so I had to go for another three photo sketch. My intention is to use this one to document some Christmas traditions - we have plenty of them, enough for many a layout.

So, here we have it.....sketch no.30.

I'm in two minds whether to use three pictures or split the two smaller frames in two and use five pictures.Some of the photos I'm thinking of using are taken with a phone and not quite as good as I would like, but keep them small and they're fine and will tell the story.

On the subject of Christmas photos, I recently completed this little gift mini album using the Docrafts Champagne Christmas download papers and some paper bags.

They regularly have free downloads available, so well worth checking out.

Happy Scrapping.

Michelle x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

May your days be Merry and Bright...

If you've been following my progress with the mini advent houses you may be a little confused as to why I'm debuting no. 15, but no need it's purely down to my attempts to spread the patterns across the 24 houses. I'm trying to make sure the houses adjacent are not too similar, so they are not being completed in number order.

Having explained myself it's time for the big - ok that might be over egging it - reveal. I bring you, in all it's twinkly glory, no.15.

I've used the Snowflakes and Nested Star Xcut die set with Papermania Glitter Paper to embellish and the numbers are grungeboard with the usual Anita's 3d gloss and silver glitter.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to send out a big thank you for supporting my blogging endeavours. I'm grateful to all of you for taking time out of your busy lives to visit and of course for the lovely comments. I hope you'll continue to stop by and enjoy the projects.

Happy Scrapping.

Michelle x

Home for Christmas

I love making mini albums, chipboard, envelopes, bird houses and acetate have all come in for the mini book treatment. So, it's not surprising that my DT work has included a fair few minis.

One of my latest books for the team was something a bit different. I used a Bare Basics House as the front of my book, complete with a photo of last years Christmas tree showing through the window. Open up the book and there are a series of pockets, all with little ribbon topped tags. I know it seems weird but my favourite bit of this book is the tiny door knob covered in gold glitter, it's just so sweet.

A little tip for those of you posting pictures to your blogs and galleries, try including a little dressing in your photos. Set the scene with seasonal items, as I did here by including ribbon and bells scattered around my project - it can really help with presentation.

Happy Scrapping.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sketchy Sunday no. 29

Morning Scrappers, it's sketch day again - is it me or is time speeding up? It seems like only yesterday I was posting the last one, but here we are another week gone.

This sketch, although intended for multiple photos, can easily be used for a single photo design - just use panels for patterned paper layered with embellishments..... hmmmm now there's a thought.

So, here we have it Sketch no.29.

Have fun and, if you have time, pop by Tuesday for my latest advent mini house reveal. 

Happy Scrapping.