Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Last Day of Harvest Time and a Train Timetable!


Hi all!! The headache is much better today and that makes me feel so much brighter!!

Men, they're a funny breed...they think differently to us ladies..I'm convinced they do!! I think that men think in straight line at a time mostly. We women tend to think in multiple lines, a bit like a train junction!! Could be that with kids you have to learn to multi thought as well as multitask, lol!! Or it could be we're just devious!!

Anyway, my long suffering DH was listening to me moaning and clutching my head yesterday with that far away look in his eyes that told me he may not be giving my agony his full attention, his single line of thought was not where it should be. So I thought I'd throw him a side winder to see if he was paying attention!! (Makes me sound a bit like a bad tempered baby.)

"What makes a good relationship" I asked. There was a long long I thought..he's not listening...then he said "It varies". OK, typical man talk for "Why do you ask me stupid questions". Evasive.....definitely!!

Feeling rather grumpy and sore I went in for the kill. "So what makes our relationship work?" I asked. The answer was fast...."Oh that one's easy. I always know where I stand with you and when your not make me laugh...not always intentionally".

Well, I was shocked...he was awake and he was listening and more to the point he gave a cute answer!! Could be he's smarter with women than I thought, lol!! So I decided the poor man deserved leaving in peace and went off to bed to be miserable there and give him a break!!

Enough of my ramblings..I tend to go off the track, I know, but now it's down to the good bits.

Today's the last day of the CT Collab Kit for this month and the last of the goodies are awaiting you!! I'd like to say a great big THANK YOU to all the CT girls who took part in this for their hard work and for sharing their talent. Well done ladies, your brilliant!!

But the other news is the goodies don't stop there...tomorrow starts the Fall Splendour Blog Train with more than 59 designers taking part so check back here for my part and then jump on the train to the next stop!! Mark your timetable and make sure you don't miss tomorrows train!!

My little Add On today is some folded ribbons with harvest words.

You can download the Harvest Ribbons here

To finish off this months CT Collab Kit Tragedy Anne has made a fantastic template and Tracy's (Latte Dah) wonderful contribution make your harvest of goodies complete!!

cen stuff_Sept CT preview

Drop by Tragedy Anne's Blog and pick up her brilliant template!! It's a stunner!!


To add Tracy's beaded word art, belt, laced frame and other goodies to finish your collection perfectly, drop by her blog Latte Dah Designs and snag them!!

That's the end of the CT Collab kit but tomorrow starts the Fall Splendour Blog Train!!!!!!

See you then!! Have a great day!!



Monday, 29 September 2008

Lymington Revisited and Some More Harvest Goodies!


Yesterday I woke up with a headache that felt like I had spent the night on the town! My mouth was like the bottom of a bird cage and I just wanted a hole to crawl into. The irony was that not a drop of alcohol has touched my lips for an age..not even a glass of fact I think I'm!! not depraved!!

I spent the morning muttering about there being no justice, as my youngest son had been out till goodness knows when clubbing with friends...and he looked good when he got up, it was me that looked like I had overindulged in a big way...he was fresh as a daisy. It must be youth or some magic potion he has, lol!!

Saturday saw me wandering around Lymington Street market with Lilly, Charlotte, Chris and Ashlyn. In an alley off the market is a great flower place and I couldn't resist a peek,,,just to see if they had anything that inspired me. They did...some Chinese lanterns and some dried corn, so when I feel a little better..well, a lot better really..hopefully, I will have a go at being inspired by them.

Lymington is on the coast and the main street is set on a hill leading down to the old quay. It's an old town, a small one, but a pretty one. It's a draw for tourists in summer but even now the weather and seasons are changing it still has a lot of yacht people passing through. So it's always bustling on Saturdays.

The market always has a terrific atmosphere and is a wonderful place to wander, with all it's colours and smells. We ate lunch in an Italian restaurant just off the market with a wonderful garden terrace and we were in was a beautiful sunny Autumn day. Ideal for a light Saturday lunch with some gorgeous food to nibble and chat over. Lilly loved it all...the hustle and bustle, the colours and the noise. She smiled all through and of course gave the onlookers her royal wave!! If they were very attentive they got a clap too, lol!! So a great time was had by all.

But enough of my weekend..."what about the goodies" I hear you say..OK, I'm getting to them!!

My little add on is 4 Harvest Frames...quite simple ones really. But today it's Kim who has the fancy stuff!!

You can download Add On 4 - the Harvest Frames here.

Take a look at Kim's terrific kit ..harvest moons and scarecrows, laces, flowers and lovely's one you'll use again and again!!

So visit her blog, Kim's Scrappin' and start downloading!!



A visit to Kim's Scrappin' will add to the harvest drop by and collect her kit

That's it from me for today if you love templates then drop by for the last part of this CT Collab and find out more!!

Have a wonderful Day!!


Sunday, 28 September 2008

Sunday's Harvest and The Tax Man!



It's Sunday other week has sneaked past me and is gone!! My life seems to fly before my eyes as quick as a flash!! In no time I'll be gone and my descendants will be looking up my family history, tracing my life!

Someone asked me the other day what I thought I would be when I was a very old lady. I was puzzled for a moment by the question...the answer was obvious...I'd be a very old lady!!!! But perhaps that's not what they meant? Yet another case of not asking what we actually want to know!! Or perhaps I'm just obtuse!

This week I sent a letter to the Inland Revenue for my son query his tax code. He isn't very happy with the tax system at the moment so imagine his horror to learn that he comes from a long line of Excise Men himself. Ok, so it was in the 1800's but one line of our ancestors had postings around the UK checking on the tax paid on wines, tobacco, brewing and general excise work. In fact several rose quite high and one found it all too much and actually killed himself whilst still in the service. It was in fact viewed as a good job then..may not have been popular with some of the population though and obviously times haven't changed much!!

My son's skepticism that his line could possibly have been Excise Men was short lived when I gave him some proof...a document dated May 15th 1826 relating to his ancestor, Joseph Merry, who was at that time 25 years old. It's describing his skills and areas he had been instructed in. Joseph was just at the beginning of his career and was to go on and do well in the Excise Service.

Shock, it was true..his ancestors were tax men!!! My son has made me promise I won't spread it around, lol!! So, I thought I would keep it quiet and only tell you, in confidence of course, lol!!! I think I should send a link to this post to his email contact list!! Or perhaps not!! But....I could always do a layout with and add it to a few galleries!!

Here's a copy of the document in question..indisputable proof of our tax man line.


But now, back to the present and some great presents that are in store for you!

You can download my Add On 3 - the Harvest Bows here

The real star though has a real Harvest feel - the bringing in of all those wonderful fruits!! This kit is from Melanie and it is perfect for this time of year!! Look at those luscious apples and pears...yum!! They are all hand drawn too!! An other lovely addition to this awesome kit!



Don't miss this part of the wonderful harvest..swing past Sweet as Mel and snag it!

Well, that's all folks!! Have a wonderful day and check back tomorrow for the next part of this great CT Collab Kit! Those girls are stars!!!

Oh, if you had trouble yesterday with Debi's links, (they drove her wild yesterday) they have been fixed and she has a little bonus of two extra papers. So if you can pop back and get them now.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Come and Reap the Harvest



Yesterday's babysitting  was a great success, with Lilly playing to the gallery as usual, she is a born actress!!

We took her out and saw the most gorgeous handmade winter jacket/cardy.......we just had to have it, that is my mum and I. Lilly was not so sure to start with..but she decided that perhaps the pixie look was her thing and from there on she got very excited about it. When her mum saw it she fell in love with it, so at least we adults thought it was great. Mind you, I'd love to see one of us wear it, lol!!

I took a picture of her when we got her back and tried it on again ...OK it's a little big, well quite a lot!! But that girl grows like a weed!! Soon I'll be saying it's a little small. I think it's the bright colours that made her smile. She has learned to clap her hands and keeping her still for the photos was quite a job....those hands kept a clapping!! So excuse the blurring on the photos!!!

lilly_jacket lillysept's Harvest Time and there are some more great crops for you to reap today!! The girls have been so busy doing some wonderful things with this month's collab kit. So let's have a look at what they have for you.

Today my little add on is some flower and fence borders.....but the real stars are Leaonna and Debi!! Their parts of this wonderful collab kit are beautiful!!

You can download my add on 2 - Flower Borders here

And then travel on to Leaonna's blog, Busyscrappin for her terrific kit. Leonna has some really individual pieces in her kit, rich gems and lovely frames to name just a few!


Your next port of call should be to collect Debi's goodies!! Drop by her blog, Sweet Adeline Designs and snag them. I love those stripped papers Debi and that pumpkin is terrific!!


So that's me for today...guess what I'm doing later! Entertaining....I have a'll never guess who it is........... it's the lovely Lilly and her mommy!! I know, I only saw her yesterday..but Saturday is grandma's day...she visits me then and returns the favour...she grandma sits, lol!!

See you all tomorrow for more of Harvest Time. Have a great day, I know I will!

Friday, 26 September 2008

Those CT Girls are Back and It's Getting Dark!!!

Autumn is really here, yep there's the falling leaves and misty mornings but more to the point it gets dark so early!! By just after 7.00pm it's dark and I live in the south of England so Scotland must be darker sooner.

Later this morning I'm travelling to Oxford, to baby sit the lovely Lilly. Her mum has lectures this afternoon and Lilly is lacking a sitter, so I will fill the gap. I have to admit it's my pleasure!!

I'm taking my mum with me, so Lilly will have both grandma and great grandma at the same time. Poor soul...we'll be fighting over who sees to her, lol!

But getting back to the dark means that we will be driving home when it gets dark, even thought we should be home around gets so depressing when the daylight hours get short. It's my pet hate about this time of year.

So if you live near Oxford stay off the roads about 6.30pm......or you may meet me!! Lol!! I hate night driving especially on roads that have no streetlights and you get dazzled by on coming traffic. My husband did sarcastically suggest night vision goggles should fix the!!! I'll treat that remark with the contempt it deserves and get my revenge later, lol!

Now for the real News! It's that time again and some of my terrific CT Girls have made a new Collab Kit for your all!! This month their theme is Harvest Time, and what a brilliant job they have made of this one.

So for the next 5 days check in and get some new goodies each day to add to this great Kit.

Linda and Bina are getting us off to a wonderful start with their marvelous as usual I have done an extra little thing to add to your stash!! So there should be a bountiful harvest of scrapping goodies for you for the next few days!!

For my add on I used some of Bina's papers and made you some tags.


You can download my harvest tags here


 Drop in on Linda's Lot and start your collection with her beautiful kit


Visit Bina's blog and collect her wonderful contribution

So have fun and see you tomorrow with more harvest gifts!!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Making Basic Buttons Tutorial and Freebie Buttons


Edit 23 Sept 15.41  GMT: I apologise to those of you who downloaded the buttons earlier...I had saved them at the wrong resolution!! I have updated the file with the correct zip now, so please download the updated file. Sorry!!

Last week I said I was running day behind with my week...well that still holds good!! I just never seem to have made the day up. I'm thinking of rearranging the calendar and subtracting a day, just for me. Only problem is I don't know who to apply to, lol!!

I love buttons and there are so many that you can make, the variations are endless. Then having made them you can add stitches or bows, even more fun!! For today I thought that a basic button would get us started. It will show you how to save a basic button template to use again and again too.

The tutorial is written in Photoshop CS2 but I am sure you can adapt the principle for your own software program.

If you prefer to download it as a pdf you can do that with the link at the end of the tut and there's an other link to download some freebie little buttons that I made for you.

So Lets Make Some Basic Buttons!!

1. Open a file with the following settings, just I have done. 600 x 600 pixels, 300 pixels/inch, RGB Colour, 8 bit, Transparent. (This size makes it large enough for you to work comfortably but you may want to reduce the size of the finished button).


2. Now set your foreground colour to black and background colour to white, the quick way to do this is press D.

3. Next select the Ellipse Tool from the side tool bar.


Make sure you have the Fill Pixels option selected in the top tool bar.

4. Now to make our circle! Hold down the shift key and draw out a circle (holding down the shift key as you drag makes sure that the circle stays in proportion). Remember if as you draw you want to move the circle, press the space bar and hold it down, this will give you  the little hand symbol which will allow you to reposition your circle…but don’t let go of the mouse whilst your doing it!!

5. Now add a new layer above your circle by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette or from the top menu bar Layer/New/Layer. This layer will be for our holes…yes, our holes.

6. Making sure that the holes layer (layer 2) is the active layer, change your foreground colour to white. A quick way to do this is press X.

7. Now select the brush tool from the side tool bar and pick a hard round brush the size you want your holes to be. I have used a hard brush at 60 pixel size for mine. Click once with your mouse on the new layer to make one stroke with the brush.

8. Select the Move Tool from the side tool bar and hold down ALT and then click on the hole and drag. This will duplicate the hole layer and now we have two holes on two separate layers.

9. We need to line them up with each other as they are looking rather out of line. So hold down the Shift Key and click on each of the hole layers so that they are both active.
Now click on the Align vertical Centres icon in the top tool bar to line them up.


10. Merge these 2 layers by holding down Shift and clicking on both layer to make them active, then press Ctrl and E to merge. We now have both holes on one layer.

11. Now we need to align the button and the holes  so make sure that both layers are active by holding the Shift Key down and clicking on each layer. Then click the Distribute Horizontal Centre in the top bar to centre them.


Now our holes and buttons are align properly.


12. Now comes the clever part!! Select the Holes layer and change the fill value to 0.


13. Open the Layer Style (double click on a blank area of the layer name).
Under Advanced Blending change the Knockout to “Deep”.


Next click on Bevel and Emboss. Change the style to: outer bevel, turn on anti-aliased then click OK.


And we have punched out the holes and applied a style to them. At this stage I save the black button as a png file so that I can use the basic template again.

Now we have the basic we can go on to the next step - giving the button some shape and colour!

18. With the button layer selected open the layer styles palette and click on colour Overlay. Pick the colour you would like your button to be. I used a blue, 7e92b6. It is easier to change the colour for the button here than changing the template colour.


Keeping the layer style palette open click on Bevel and Emboss and use the settings below:


Note that I have changed the Shadow Mode Colour from black to a slightly darker shade of my blue. This makes for a less harsh contrast on the bevel.

19. Now click Contour. I’ve changed the Contour here to Rounded Steps by clicking on the little arrow at the side of the Contour Picker. I moved the slider and set it at 21%.


If you want try picking a different contour and then playing with the sliders, This will give you different shaped ridges. When your happy press OK.

Here's what my button looks like.


There are so many other things we can do to dress up our button, patterns, texture etc…. but that’s for an other time!!.

You can add Texture and overlaying a texture on it. Play with the scale and depth of these until you get the effect you want.

Also try overlaying a pattern. Click Pattern Overlay and then select a pattern and play with the opacity and scale.

The permutations are endless!! Have fun!!

Download the tutorial in pdf here

Download the freebie buttons here

Friday, 19 September 2008

I'm Stamping Mad!


Today my emphasis in this post New awards, new ventures, new journeys, new freebie...everything NEW!!! Except me!!

I must admit I could do with a new me...but that will have to wait until someone comes up with something really radical, lol!!

This week the news has been so full of financial matters that affect all of us no matter where we's scary really how quickly things can change. People say it's because we have better communications now, so news good or bad, travels fast...but I'm not so sure that's the full story.

I know that in the late 1800's and into the 1900's we had a wonderful postal system here in England. For example men who worked in London and travelled in from the suburbs by train kept a supply of blank postcards. Why you ask? Because if at lunchtime they thought they may be late home for dinner they just wrote a postcard and dropped it in the mail. The postcard must have had wings because it was delivered to their home by late afternoon, around 4.30pm!! How's that for communication!! They had up to 10 deliveries a day to their houses just for normal mail...imagine that postman would almost become a permanent resident in my house!! Lol!! So, good communication was there at least on a national level. It just shows that progress doesn't always improve something!! for my gift to you for today. I have some stamped flowers, commercial use is OK. The preview above shows them unblended, the image below shows them with a blending mode of Colour Burn. The download included the two coloured flowers plus 2 grayscale, light and dark for you to make your own. All the file are in png format. I love stamped things and keep going back and trying to improve my expect more of this stuff in the future!!

Here are the flowers using Colour Burn Blending Mode, 100% (I didn't alter the opacity for the image, but you can!)...just thought I'd give you a peek at them and how you can play!! I have made them quite large so that they rescale quite easily too.In fact there are lots of things you do with, recolour etc...have fun!!


You can download the Stamped Flowers here

Some more NEW! I've got to tell you about-  a brand new award and a journey..with a twist!!The first is an award which is the creation of Nezzi (Jessica) and the other is a cute little caterpillar named Gogga, The idea with Gogga is to send him/her around the world by blog hopping. Gogga, is such a cute little thing, how could I resist..I got from Gabrielle, who's in Ireland. I love the logo for this one, those eyes! He reminds me of myself after too long at the PC, lol!!

OK, so first Nezzi's wonderful "Never Ending Energy Award". To find out a bit more about the award and why she made it take a look here.


Thank you I am really honoured that you added me to your list Jessica. Now I pass it on to three people and here are mine:

Candee of Mermaids Haven - she has so much energy and does so much..and I love her work!!

Kim of Kim's Scrappin - she always has so much to do but always finds time to help and be a good friend.

Sammy D, owner of Scrappin Digi Kreations - she has always shown patience and humour in all my dealings with her..she's a star to put up with my blonde moments, lol! I don't know if Sammy has a blog but I had to add her to this list, she so deserves it!!

Now for Gogga!! He is so cute!!


I choose these three to help him on his trip around the world!!

Melanie of Sweet as Mel as she is in South America

Stella of Stellarific Creations as she is in Australia

Glynis of Ghunibee Scraps as she is in Cyprus

Well, Gogga you really will be tired after all those miles, good job he has so many legs, lol!! I'm tired just adding all the links!!

The next new thing is certainly worth knowing about!It's one of the best new shops that I have noticed recently and it's one with a difference. It doesn't sell kits etc but services!! Doesn't matter if your a hands on digi scrapper or not these girls have something for everyone...they even do it for you!! It's a combination of Tragedy Anne and her co-owner Diana and their services are awesome design, S4H, designer services and loads more!! They have an opening promotion with 15% off a blog makeover, so if your blog needs a revamp drop by Keepsake Creators and see what they can do for you!! the offer lasts till the end of this month.


You've been so patient with my ramblings that you deserve the link for today's freebie! Thank you for bearing with me!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Natural Things


Hi Folks, I hope that everything is good with you all and that life is being kind to you. Miss Lilly visited at the weekend and stayed over night and it was energetic to say the least...but such a pleasure..that girl always makes me smile!! She is standing up all on her own...especially when she see the cat!! Not bad for 8 months!!

She sees that cat and she is away!! She spots him even through the window...there is no hiding place!! She crawls like a millipede and climbs like the cat himself, lol. Poor cat, he hates her!! Lol!!

lilly-stand2 lilly-stand1

Sunday was a sit down lunch for nine with two lunches to again, a busy day but a good time was had by all which made it all worthwhile. It gave time to catchup with everyone and find out their news, thankfully no bad news!! I was flying around believe me...I was like a plate juggler, all I needed was one of those stick to juggle them on, lol!

I know...what "an other frame", your saying!!! Yes, but this is one of my favourites!!! My little gift to you, a touch of nature, flowers and little bugs around a frame. Something to remind you of the Summer flowers now that Autumn is here.

You can download the Natural Things Frame here......but..

First checkout the lovely layouts and card that I really must share with you, they are beautiful!!

Paula is a brilliant card maker and I was oh so thrilled to see a beautiful card she had made for her niece using my Fashionista Kit. It has so many great details, she really is a great card maker!! Take a look!



An other one that made me smile was Linda's gorgeous layout of these two little ladies, the journaling is priceless!! She uses white space so well on this and the overall effect she has achieved makes a fantastic page!


Credits: Flora's dream by Cens Stuff, Template by LindaJD, Font Used - Rough Typewriter

Next we have Melanie's fantastic page. She linked the frames with the heart, scroll and flower cluster and it looks great!! The torn paper adds that extra touch!! An other absolutely wonderful layout!


Credits: Simple Things by Cens Stuff, Template is from KimBsdesigns.

The next one is really special, it comes from my friend Glynis and it's a wonderful friendship page made with the Lace Mat recoloured. It was so nice to receive this, a sign of a shared friendship, complete with lovely butterflies! Thank you Glynis, I really love this!


I'm a bit late in posting this one but it's the first time I posted since Leaonna offered this brilliant, bling frame on her blog, commercial use too!!!So if you don't have it already pop by her blog and snag it!

cu friday

Well, it's late here and time for me to climb the big wooden hill and crawl into bed!! Take care and see you soon!!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Lilly's Day and a Commercial Use Freebie

I'm back, fresh from a day with the wonderful Miss Lilly. That girl is so lively now that she has found her feet!! Oh to have that amount of energy all the time...what bliss!! On the days that I'm blessed with my little Cutie everything else stops....she needs your undivided attention or she is off exploring!!

She thinks the baby walker is for wimps or babies and she of course is neither of those..oh no, not for her the safe and cosy way!! She grabs the tray and pulls her legs up and next thing you know she is swinging head first...straight towards the floor...legs frantically pushing her downwards...eeek!!

She can crawl at the speed of light and then it's a rapid pull of the arms and she is standing up and seeing what she can grab!! She has just gone off to bed after her bath...mind you she didn't go quietly!! But it was a busy day and eventually exhaustion won out and things have gone silent...for now!!

Tonight I have a commercial use freebie, a grayscale textured frame plus a dressed up example.



You can download them here

Now for some terrific layouts! This one has the coloured photo as the background and it works really well. I love the word art and journaling and the photo in the corner is a great reflection of the background! A brilliant job Kim!!


Credits: Simple Things kit by Cen's Stuff
Template 5 by Kylie M Designs
Photos by Kim
Fonts used are - Promised Freedom, Kingthings Annex

What little beauties from Linda, both the page and the those lovely girls!! I love the torn paper as matting and she has made that frame look really good!! Great job!


Credits: Kit Used - Flora's Dream by June Schutrups aka Cen'Stuff
Template by LindaJD
Font's Used - Vivaldi / Rough Typewriter / University Roman


Credits: Little Weeds by June Schutrups from Cen´s Stuff.

The template is also made by Cen's Stuff

The journaling has some bible verses of Psalm 139.

And last but not least drop by Jessica's new blog, The Scrappin Squad, as she has a great freebie for you too! It's a celebration freebie!! Don't forget to leave her some love!!



Time for me to go as I spoke too soon, saying all was quiet on the Miss Lilly front....she has decided that she has had a nap and now she wants up. I'll have to have a little word in her ear and advise her of a few facts of life! So bye for now.