Saturday, 30 March 2013

LIttle Bags of Loveliness

A BIG shout our for sequins.  They've suddenly become uber trendy just when I wasn't looking ( although I may have Leanne to thank for bringing my attention to them ) .

Anyway, for about the price of a posh coffee , I ordered 5 bags of them, which arrived this morning and brightened up a dreary grey day beyond belief. Isn't it funny how, if you wait long enough, these things come around again in scrap-booking ? But let's hope that doesn't apply to holographic peel-offs, although watch this space. I've got a bead tin full of an assortment of the little beauties in various colours that I must have had knocking around for years. There were 5 empty little tins inside waiting for some new occupants and now I can tell you that my olive rain cups, matte gold stars , mother of pearl flats ( yes they all have intriguing descriptions too ) , crystal clear stars and chocolate satin cup sequins are now jostling for position amongst the star-spangled loveliness .

I'm off to order some more now ( I have my eye on some teal and some lobster coloured ones) from a lady called  Ann Chambers at Sequin World , who must have one of the most cheerfully satisfying jobs imaginable - spreading sparkly joy to customers around the world .

Check out her shop at and make sure you look at the limited edition section. With names like apple pearl and crystal rain , I defy anyone to resist temptation .

Every Now and Then ...

... I feel the need to sing it from the rooftops - that spelling is not a measure of intelligence.

At this point , most newspaper articles would point out that Richard Branson and Einstein were both dyslexic and couldn't spell but I avoid that comparison because then the dyslexic child reaises that not only can they not spell but that they then have to live up to the giddy heights of intellectual and entrepreneurial brilliance of two of the world's brainiest men. More pressure.

Whilst clearing out a bookshelf this weekend ( that's a whole other story ) I came across my youngest son's spelling book from Year 4. I remember the time and patience it took to practice the weekly list of not 10 but 20 impossible words at the tender age of 8. It would take us twice as long as any non dyslexic because nothing came naturally and being dyspraxic too , his hand would become painful and cramped after a few minutes as he struggled to form the words with his fountain pen. Pencils weren't allowed, so mistakes were painfully and unreasonably obvious for all to see. I used to think they might introduce quill pens at any moment just to increase the torture.

For the non dyslexic child , the weekly spelling nightmare would be a breeze. They may not even have to practice and they certainly wouldn't be found at the breakfast table on the morning of the dreaded spelling test having just one more go.

At the end of the school day, the yellow spelling book ( or rather yellow peril as it came to be known in our house ) would return in the schoolbag for the whole ghastly experience to begin again.

Fast forward 5 years and I'm happy to report that , whilst spelling is still held up as a false yardstick of intellect, my son is now resigned to the fact that :

  • he will never win a spelling bee
  • but at least he will never have to sit another spelling test which mercifully disappear in senior school
  • that he will never have the ignominy of coming last in said test every week
  • that sadly, for some inexplicable reason, for every exam he sits , if allowed to use a laptop, the spell-check facility will be disabled in case he dare to rely on technology -- why ????? 
It is a miracle that he survived, self confidence intact ( albeit dented ) and lives to tell the tale. Looking through the pages of that yellow peril, I almost cried when I read solitary and disparaging comments at the bottom of each page such as 'miserable attempt ' and 'Are you sure you learnt your spellings ? '

Yes he's very sure he learnt his spellings Miss , but have you learnt to be a more enlightened teacher ? Sadly, I think not.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Crayon Heaven

Next time my husband asks me what I'd like for my Birthday , I think I 'll just show him this .

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bunny Basket

Bunny is a great word isn't it ? If I looked at a rabbit now , for the very first time and didn't know what it was called , I think I'd still come up with the word ' bunny ' . No co-incidence that it rhymes with funny and honey , two more great words .

I've made some Easter carrots for my pupils - filled with Cadbury's mini eggs. Easy peasy to make - just cut up orange card-stock or paper into 4" x 6" rectangles - you can get 6 from a 12" x 12" sheet of card-stock. Using double sided tape , seal up the base and the top at right angles to each other ( think tetra pack construction ) then add some green card-stock , cut into leaf-like greenery ( I used my Cameo but you can do this free-style) to the top to make the carrot tops. Fill with mini eggs before you seal up the top. My only problem now is making sure I don't eat them all before I give them away. I made 6 as a trial run , so I'll need to make another dozen - guess what I'll be doing tonight ?

Happy Easter.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Loving Sequins at the moment

At the risk of sounding like a closet ballroom dancer , I've fallen in love with these delightful little circles of loveliness. I've always had a fascination for them but never really used them on my layouts ... until now. I still don't like the holographic or iridescent ones but they now make them in a luscious satin finish which makes them look so much classier. So here are a couple of layouts that I made last weekend using satin gold and silver sequins.

Apologies for the rubbish photos but I've just photographed them in the gloom of a dreary early evening ... should have waited until daylight , not that it would have made much difference at the moment - it is so dull and grey and cold out there .

How cute is kitten Jack in this photo ?

I used a Studio Calico mask that I'd ordered with my last kit and hadn't realised , until I opened the packaging , that you could move the designs from within the pebble shapes around - how clever is that ? AS they didn't stand out that well as I'd used a plae grey mist , I outlined them with a very fine black pen to give them a little more definition. It's not that clear from the photo but the shapes underneath the photo were cut into pebble shapes from white cardstock painted with some of the new Distress Paint Dabbers - loving the washed out shades ( even if I did manage to spill half a bottle on my trousers in the process ) .

For those of you now suffering from sequin envy , you can spend a happy half hour on a site called choosing sequins to your hearts content . They have every conceivable shape , size and finish. I've just bought some more matte ones which I prefer to the rather garish holographic ones ... oh and there's no postage . 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


That's 'badge' not 'badger' which is what it looked like after I'd typed it , although I do have a thing for badgers too come to think of it .

What is it about these round shiny little things that's so appealing ? I managed a sharp intake of breath in Paperchase today when I saw this....

And even better ... it's full of these .....

So, for the same price as a couple of coffees , I came skipping out of the shop with my package of loveliness . There are 2 of each letter , so 52 in total which makes them about 12p each. Now if Paperchase can offer them at that price , why are those packets of 6 you see on scarp booking sites so ridiculously expensive - around $4-5 ?

I'll be using mine as a teaching resource and one or two may well make it onto my scrapbook pages.