How to make a mini Halloween countdown calendar - with printable

18.10.15 - 12:32
Well hello there. As part of my run up to Halloween (and revealing my finished Cabinet of Curiosities) today I'm bringing you another easy little craft that is kinda cute.

Since my project is primarily meant to be a countdown calendar, there really has to be some kind of number/time element... somewhere. Considering there are a limited amount of shelves/drawers it couldn't work like a advent calendar with opening doors/drawers.

I thought about clocks or dials but really I wanted something that would fit under that little bell jar and, well, I like paper. Hence the actual calendar idea. The pages turn over the top and I've added enough numbers to count down from 99, but 31 will probably suffice. It's only about 7cm tall (2.5in).

I'm sharing it as a printable if you want to have a go at making your own teeny tiny calendar, click on the image at the bottom of this post and right click to save a nice big print resolution version. It's still for personal use only though. Just for fun, guys.

Continue reading →


How to make creepy old photographs

10.10.15 - 11:20
For a while now I've been wondering why anyone would want the Tim Holtz Found Relatives cards. It seemed really weird to me that you would make something with photographs of people you don't know. Then as I worked on my Halloween Project I realised I was going to need some pictures. Not just photos, but old spooky ones. So I set to and made some that are a bit creepier than the Tim Holtz set, but I do get what they are for now. It's part of getting that feel right.

Here is how I made my old and weird photographs for my halloween project though this might be useful for all kinds of stuff.

Continue reading →


Halloween Project - making a start

3.10.15 - 15:30

I get that this does not look very Halloween-y. This is my plan for the inside of the Cabinet of Curiosities. I've used washi tape (surprise surprise) to hold all the shelves up and the blocks at the bottom will all be individual drawers. 

Obviously by the time it's finished it will look a bit more spooky-victorian and a tad less Ikea. I've been getting inspired by these awesome works of Assemblage.

You'll have to wait and see how it turns out!


Halloween Project

19.9.15 - 11:57
This year for Halloween I want to make a countdown calendar. Like an advent calendar but, you guessed it - until the 31st of October. I (laughably) thought I might be able to have it done by the first of October. No chance. But it shall be complete by Halloween my pretties and hopefully come out each October hence. Bwa hahaha hahah.

Back in the real world. I have looked at a myriad of options for advent calendars - windows, pockets doors and drawers and I want everything. My fascination with boxes of things goes way back. The only thing I like more than paper is boxes. Boxes with drawers are even better.

I love love love these in my makeshift studio space:

The point is,  I'm going to create a 'Halloween Cabinet of Curiosities Countdown'. A box with drawers and shelves and more boxes and jars. I've got no idea how it's going to work but it's going to be awesome.


Thinking about Christmas already?

25.8.15 - 11:36

I'm already dreaming of Christmas. Sounds crazy but this year I'm not going to tell myself it's crazy. I'm going to use it as the early alarm clock going off in Christmas planning world. Why do I never have a super fantastic hand-crafted advent calendar? Because I don't think about it until November 30th!

Here are ten things you can start planning way in advance to make December way more fun whilst also making you feel less like a moose for dreaming about Crimbo already.

Continue reading →


Black forest gateau macarons

11.8.15 - 22:34

I'll start today by telling you that this is a bit of an experiment. Not my baking, well, maybe. Actually that's always a bit of an experiment, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm attempting to blog from a tablet rather than a proper computer. I have a fond idea that I'll get more written if I don't have to sit at a desk. That it won't feel like work. Less formal. We shall see.

On to the baking. The start of a new series of the Great British Bake Off has once again ignited my interest in baking. Last week I made the rookie error of not having any treats in for scoffing whilst the program was on! So my brain was quickly running through what was in the cupboards in an attempt to find something to reconcile the situation.

Continue reading →


Got me a new Filofax

3.4.15 - 13:00
I'm spectacularly pleased with my latest purchase. Not only is it way cool, I got it half price. So, what did I get? A new Filofax. To be more precise the A5 Filofax 'Original' in Dark Aqua.

I reckon this would divide folk I know into those who would say: "Nice! What inserts are you using?" And those who would say: "The last person to have a Filofax was Del Boy".

I can see their point, in the general sense paper planners are a bit dated - everything is electronic now. However, I always have a sketchbook with me and I've always had a bit of thing for, well anything stationery related...

In fact this is not my first Filofax. In fact this is not the only Filofax I own. This is not where I reveal a cupboard stuffed full of them.

Yeah, I've always been like this. 

But this was my first. Yep, it's from the eighties. I got it as a birthday present when I was a kid. I don't think it's a real branded Filofax (since I was about 8 at the time, I didn't really care) but it does still have a bunch of Time Manager inserts in it.

I've been looking at so many lovely planners. The way some people have them set up is stunning especially the Kikki-k fans. I'm also glad that this is expanding the scrapbooking industry a bit. Getting new people involved and making creative products for them can only be a good thing.



14.3.15 - 22:23
Be still my heart.

Although the French word 'cartonnage' technically means cardboard, I seem to have stumbled upon a great word for things constructed out of cardboard, like boxes. Except the English word 'cardboard box' doesn't really cover it. It sounds so disposable.

These are actual items constructed out of cardboard. They are sturdy objects like drawers and even some furniture. I'd like to try some of these techniques, it opens a whole world of new options for scrapbooking and bookbinding.

Many of the items pinned below are not styled to my taste, but you can see the possibilities. A tiny bookcase for a set of mini-albums? A box to contain a travel journal with a drawer for all the extra memorabilia? Fantastic.

Check out this Pinterest board too.


Learning French

2.3.15 - 22:20


J'ai commencé à apprendre Français encore. C'est le deuxième fois. J'avais appris à l'école mais avec pas beaucoup succés.

[ Hello there! ]

[ I've started learning French again. It's the second time. I did learn at school but with not a lot of success. ]

That's not true. I learned quite a lot, and my reading comprehension is still quite good. I was just a bit lazy and didn't take it very seriously. Now I am enjoying learning irregular verbs. Maybe I would have enjoyed it at school if there had been an app for it like I have now. I'm currently using Brainscape which is a flash card based system for learning all sorts of things.

Or if there had been YouTube videos like these:

Comme une Francais TV - Geraldine is great, she inspired me to start speaking French more
Her show is aimed at people who live in France and want to fit in. So its not for beginners but I find it fascinating! She also has a website - commeunefrancaise.com

Damon and Jo - these guys are funny. They have a LOT of personality. They make travel videos and sometimes French videos as Damon teaches French.

Caillou! - Geraldine, Damon and Jo, and everyone else suggests finding TV programmes in French similar to those you like in English (or your native language). I find these extremely difficult to follow and a lot of the French is slang-y. Not useful when you are still learning. So I started watching Caillou. Yes its aimed at 5 years olds, but it's very sweet and I understand a lot of it. Plus they use real words so the kids can learn.

Tu parle le Français? Or do you speak another language?


Thoughts on Project Life 2014 and plans going forward

2.2.15 - 20:04
Last year I completed a full year of Project Life in the 12x12 format. Well, just about. All the photos are in, there are still some words to type up.

Anyway, after this mega achievement, I asked myself if I wanted to do the same again, and as with the 10k race I ran, the answer was no, not straight away.
Both were very satisfying to complete but also hard work. Enjoyable hard work. Maybe commitment is a better word.
And my Project Life binder is giant. I kept it to one since I did on average one side a week. There is a very boring month where four weeks are on one page. And a couple of extra inserts from trips.

As I asked myself about it, I realised I do still want to document my life and some of the everyday things, but not everything. More of an over view and if I am going to be into this hobby for any length of time (not something that is normally a problem for me) it will need to not take up as much space. I've currently got four 12x12 albums (not all full).

Another thing happened, someone I follow on Instagram has the Heidi Swapp Planner (the new black and white stripe one that goes with the Big Picture class). It's gorgeous.
I know from past experience that a 'planner' is not going to work for me as an alternative to a whole PL but in googling that little beauty I came across some pictures of Heidi's Memory Planner (from last year I think) and some beautiful work people had done with it.

My brain started working on how I really wanted to document things and came up with something based on the memory planner/planners in general but mixed with PL. I think it will be a bit more monthly based - so I can be more selective about what I put in.

I'm making plans - it's got to be ring bound so that I can add/change pages and its got to fit some project life pockets - I like the tallways 3x4, but I probably need more than 4 a week (like in a 6x8)
maybe 6 like the memory planner and tabs like a filofax.

To the drawing board!