Going round in circles!

Good day my crafty friends,

What a busy bee I have been for the past few months, and, unfortunately, not on projects I have been able to share as yet. Suffice to say I have a brilliant new craft tool to rave about in the next few months, (with articles in a couple of craft mags and a couple of videos), and our Autumn Crafting Retreat plans are moving along splendidly.

Here in Merry-ville we have been enjoying our delightful 5 month old puppy, Rupert. He has already brought us so much joy. The vet and the groomer say how extraordinarily sociable and chilled he is for one so young. (Proud parent speech kicking in).


I just want to give a shout out today to the Kit n Caboodle circle cutter I was demonstrating on Create & Craft last weekend. It is the easiest, most reliable and best priced circle cutter I have ever used. I know we all have nesting dies but this cuts circles ANY size from 8cms to 32cms (approximately 3 1/2” to 13”).


To create the card below I drew a pencil line down centrally from top to bottom (although it doesn’t have to be the centre – it could be offset). I then cut some smaller circles to layer on top.



Aperture cards are made easy with this tool and you could sandwich acetate or vellum between your nested circles to make shakers.


I love shaped cards and this could easily be a pocket on a layout or mini book too as well as an invitation, with the details on a pullout card. I cut a couple of half circles in different sizes and when cutting them to a quarter circle I left a 1/2” scored flap to attach them to my main card piece. Any joins were covered with decorative paper.


Same idea for this mini book but I just cut quarter circle pieces with no extra flaps and glued them to my pages on two edges.


The layouts below speak for themselves I think. Circles make great title and journaling blocks.


The next layout is an old magazine article I did and was actually created using a dinner plate I traced around. I cringe a little when I look closely at it, and the circle in the top corner, but how quick and simple it could have been and I could have matted it to a slightly larger circle which would have been nearly impossible by hand.


And lastly, how about mixing circle punches (even scalloped ones) in too to get the smaller sized ones.


I guess most of us have some nesting dies and a lot of us may have electronic machines that could cut larger circles but for speed, portability, and price, this little tool packs a mighty punch.

Happy Crafting!






“To Love & Cherish”


I had the privilege of teaching at a Scrapbooking Retreat in Leeds a few weeks back and was using Simple Stories ‘Adore’ range. Although this is a range designed for weddings I decided to show it was just as usable for other formal occasions such as prom, engagement, graduation, or even just for using black and white photos. What better excuse than to use photos of our new puppy, Rupert?

As the attendees were seasoned scrapbookers I had to do something a little different and decided we would make the layout very interactive. I folded the floral sheet in half side to side and cut around the flowers on one side to create a shaped border.


By laying strips of some of the other paper designs behind this folded-over piece I made a feature of it. I also trimmed 1/4” top and bottom from the entire piece so that I could still use a page protector for it. I attached the whole piece to the lefthandside of the scrapbook page base sheet. This open up piece gave me lots of room for photos and journalling inside and out.



On the opposite side of the page I attached a 12” long border sticker from the range to a 2”x12” wide piece of decorative paper and glued it to the back of the base sheet so that once again I had a flap that I could attach things to.



I trimmed 1/4” top and bottom again. I attached a photo mat to this flap so that I could use front, back and underneath on the base paper to hold photos or journalling. I also did some doodling here and there. I like to make the most of the space I have!

Wishing you a weekend of sunshine and craftiness!

Rosemary x


I love stationery – fact! I adore pens – fact! But I thought I was so over gel pens. I favour my Pilot Frixion ball pen for my bullet journal because although it is not the blackest black or the finest nib it is erasable. For doodling and colour in my bullet journal and travellers notebooks I tend to use Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.



But oh the joy of rediscovering the magic of a gel pen prepping for my 2 hour A C Moore show on Create & Craft. The tacky ink of a gel pen enables it to support more pigments so we can have neon, pastel, bright, metallic and glitter effects. As they are an acid free ink, bold,  permanent and fade proof, it makes them ideal for business purposes (obviously I am talking about the sober black, blue, red colours here and am not suggesting you suddenly start to sign documents with a neon glitter pen and a doodled heart!).



Thicker ink means less bleed, they write on smooth surfaces which some pens won’t and you don’t have to shake the pens to mix pigments. They have a unique ability to show up on dark card, a quality white gel pen can be used on parchment paper instead of white ink for tracing, and they can be layered, for instance, a glitter pen can be used over a metallic or a neon pen for speciality spot effects.


Talking about  speciality spot effects – flat patterned paper can be transformed by using glitter pens as highlights.


As well as for full on colouring or spot highlight effects they can be used beautifully for doodling. Hold them upright and let that ink flow and your mind wander.


The most surprising (to me) and most satisfying discovery I made was their ability to blend. I thought this would be a no-no and impossible to achieve. But as the ink is thick and so takes a little longer to dry it was a cinch to blend two or three colours to achieve shading and blending. You have to try this. (Some gel pens can even be smudged intentionally to colour such as petals.) To blend I laid down my lightest colour, added my next colour, then used my lightest colour in circular motions or strokes to blend the inks, then used the darkest colour and went back to blend the crossover with my second colour.



So, go on, get out those gel pens again (I know you have them) and have a play. Whether it be for a bold, permanent,  black signature, a shimmering metallic effect or full on glitter , these pens deliver! Such fun!


Happy colouring!

Rosemary x



When inspiration hits………


It’s been the kind of week where I have been working on lots of projects at once and a couple of nights I have gone to bed with my head so full of ‘stuff’ I had trouble sleeping. You know I have a thing about the front covers of paper pads and whilst working on a magazine article I got that sudden urge to recycle (or is the buzz word to ‘repurpose’?) the cover of the pad. It really was so quick to do and I am really pleased with the result.




This cover presented more of a challenge than usual as there were branding images in all four outer corners and a contents label in the centre. I wanted to keep the title and star image as it was too good not to use. (Another option would have been to cut inside the star outline and use the star to frame a photo that I could place behind.) So I decided to cut away 2 1/2” panels on either side but cutting around the star where it overlapped into that area.


As the cover is so busy with all the pattern designs of the papers I used one of the plainer papers as my border and also a thinner border of aqua from the pad to add interest. I made sure my finished page was 12” wide when the borders were added.


I still had to do something with the label in the centre and instead of covering it over and losing the flowers and the shape I decided to cut out inside it and put a piece of journalling behind. (I used my new ‘old’ typewriter to create my journalling – I love the look and it also stops Nige from saying “I knew you wouldn’t use that”!) I cut two fake photo mats from copy paper to gauge placement and size before I cropped my photos down. I cut some images from the pad to use as embellishments and moved them around until I was happy.


What better photos to use than ones of our new baby! I love how the colours work – particularly the one of him with his toys in his basket. I raised up all the embellishment pieces with 1mm foam pads and added some enamel dots. I tied my left hand behind my back so that I couldn’t doodle around the page edge or down the borders for a change.


I am off to Leeds tomorrow to teach at the Scrapstars Scrapbooking retreat and I can’t wait. I will be teaching a mega-interactive page layout I have designed, tomorrow evening, as well as a mini exercise in journalling. I will share those with you in a few days.

Hope your week is a good one.

Keep up the ‘crafty’

Rosemary x


‘Book in a Box’, and the Winner is…….


Big congratulations Helen – you have my daughter to thank for drawing you out of the cup last night. Please let me have your address and I will get the package in the post to you! Thank you to everyone who joined in – who knows, you may be lucky next time.

This week is a particularly busy week but as I had promised to announce our Giveaway winner I thought I might as well share a project with you. This box doesn’t have to house a book, it would work beautifully for a gift. It is very simple and could be resized to suit.


To make the basic box I used a 12” x 12” piece of cardstock and scored at 2” and 4” from all 4 sides. (I have emphasised the score lines with a pencil).


Now cut as shown in the photo below. You should taper any edges that hamper a neat fold-up.


I am very mean with glue so you could use more but this is an indication of where it should go as a minimum.


Forgive the scabby photo but I forgot to show you how to make up the box and had to take it apart again. You repeat this on all four sides.


I lined all four sides of the box and it would also be nice to line the insides too. For my wraparound cover I cut a piece of cardstock 5” x 12” and rounded all four corners. I cut a piece of decorative paper slightly smaller and glued it securely to the cardstock piece after I had sandwiched a piece of ribbon at each end. This beautiful paper range is the new Rustic Wedding from Crafters Companion and I will definitely be using this again. This is my favourite range of all time from them.


I used strong double sided tape to attach my box base to the inside of my wraparound, lining it up so that the cover would be even when it was folded over the top of the box.


I gently curled the wraparound cover around the box securing on the side with double sided tape again and tied my ribbon in a bow. I decorated the top with some pearl card layers distressing the bottom one and curling one corner of the top layer. I glued on some flowers and a wooden word that had been randomly heat embossed with gold powder.


I made an accordian book for the inside cutting strips of cardstock 3 3/4” wide and scoring at every 3 3/4” – join as many strips as you like to achieve the length of book you want. The box is 2” deep so will take a reasonable size book or gift.

Hope that made sense. Congratulations again to Helen. I will be back in a few days with another tute! How a great week.

Be Crafty,

Rosemary x

Stand-up Mini & Giveaway!

What better reason to make a mini book than to showcase a new puppy (I’m still waiting for a grandchild!). I like this one as it makes a great alternative to a handmade card and it stands up to display the inside. Allow me to introduce you to Rupert, our 8 week old Norfolk Terrier.


The basic book requires one sheet of paper and the covers require another one. I then used extra co ordinating pieces and stickers as layers.


I cut my 12” x 12” paper to 12” x 9” as I wanted my photo blocks to be 3” square but you could resize it to 10” x 7 1/2” for 2 1/2” blocks or 8” x 6” for 2” blocks, for example. I used my favourite cutting and scoring tool the We R Memory Keepers Trim & Score Board to cut it to size and then score it at 3”, 6” and 9” one way, and 3” and 6” the other way. You can see how I have cut along two of the score lines and then folded to create mountain and valley folds. On the two outer blocks in the middle line I had no middle scores but just created my own.


I used some thick cardboard or you could use chipboard to create two covers; mine measured 3 1/2” x 9 1/2” each to allow a 1/4” margin on each side. So I cut my paper to 4 1/2” x 10 1/2” to allow for the wraparound. I used Stix 2 Red Ultra Clear High Tack Double-sided 6mm tape to glue my edges over.


I cut numerous squares 2 3/4” x 2 3/4”, inked the edges with a charcoal ink and glued them down with Collall All Purpose Glue to allow me some ‘wiggle’ time.


I attached ribbon at the back on both outside edges and then attached my front and back covers again using the red liner tape.


I added some stickers and other cut out pieces and raised some using foam pads. I ‘destickied’ the back of some of the stickers with talc so that I could raise them with the pads.


I decorated the front of my mini book and did some doodling. I love the finished article and it is a lovely reminder of how tiny Rupert was when we first got him.


This is do-able in an evening which makes it a nice compact project (it actually took me 4 hours as I was home alone with the very demanding and mischievous subject of my book). Have fun!



I thought it high time I had a ‘giveaway’ and am excited to be sending someone one of my complete mini book kits worth £20. It has full instructions and photos.  All you have to do is to ‘Like’/Follow or already have liked/followed my blog, and comment with one word describing your crafting style. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 22nd April at 9pm and announced on the blog on Monday 23rd. This is for UK only I am afraid.


You may, or may not, be aware that I have some affiliate links with Craftstash.co.uk. Their prices are brilliant anyway but I wanted to share some links for special offers they have running for this coming week. Click on and browse around – you won’t be disappointed. (Even if these don’t appeal to you I have a discount code in the side bar on my blog for 10% discount on your total shop with Craftstash!)

American Brand Sale – Buy any 4 All American products and save 20%!
Ends: 29/04/18

Mega Dies Sale – Dies From Only £1.99  Ends: 23/04/18

Exclusive Code For 40% Off All Magazine Back Issues
Code: 40MAG
Ends: 3/05/18

Phew! If you got through all that you deserve a medal. Have a great weekend – I’ll be back in a few days with the Giveaway results and some more inspiration.

Happy Crafting!

Rosemary x

Happy ’World Craft Week’!

I don’t know who decides these things but let’s celebrate World Craft Week and the promise of lovely weather in the next few days with a simple but cheery couple of cards. I find 6” x 6” paper pads invaluable when I want co ordinated papers for a quick card project and this has to be one of my favourites – ‘Blank Canvas’ from First Edition.


I diecut various sized circles from my chosen papers and glued them randomly, on and slightly off, my prepared cardstock square.


I trimmed any pieces overhanging the edge. You can reuse those pieces to fill any  ‘too bare’ spaces on your piece.


I used an embossing folder and embossed the circle piece. I stamped my greeting on a piece of vellum, wrapped it around my embossed layer and added a piece of ribbon and a bow before layering this piece to a square of gold linen cardstock and then my base card. (If you didn’t want to wrap the vellum the ribbon could be used to hide the glue used to secure the greeting strip).


I did the same process but this time using my ink pads to create a background and gold diecut circles.





It’s fun to experiment with different patterns of embossing folders.


This technique makes the circles look melded onto your piece.


Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back later in the week with another mini book AND A GIVEAWAY!

Be crafty!

Rosemary x

Pocket Page How-to.


Paper speaks to me! When I saw this Library Ephemera sheet from Kaisercraft I just knew I had to make use of the design and make an interactive layout with pockets and tags. On the sheet below I have used silver washi tape to indicate where I made my pockets and I have marked with pencil to show my cut lines.


I made tags in varying sizes so that the shortest would go in the bottom pockets and the largest at the top. Plenty of room for extra photos or journalling.


I inserted the tags and then flipped the paper over. To stop the tags all slipping to the bottom I run lengths of double-sided tape where necessary. Three pieces of tape were sufficient for all five pockets as you can see below. When I was happy that my tags would be secure I attached the whole sheet to a backing piece of 12” cardstock.


This is just to show how I made my photo mat.


To bulk out the pockets and add interest I cut and glued in some extra pieces I had left over. These are designed to be fixed permanently and not be taken in and out of the pockets.


Okay, so if I have tags and pockets on a layout and then I put the page into a page protector, how do I get access to the tags without taking the page out each time. On the photo below you can see I have taken the tags out, put the page into the plastic protector and then marked my pocket tops with a pen.


Take out the layout from the page protector and insert a craft mat. Use a knife to slice a slit between the dots you made. If you used a permanent pen use stazon remover or nail polish remover to erase the dots at this point.


Insert the layout back into the protector without the tags. Now insert the tags from the outside of the protector into the slits. This way the tags will always be accessible  but the page is still protected.


I love this layout as it gives me lots of scope for journalling and adding extra photos. Always make the most of paper design!


See you next time with a simple but effective technique to kick off World Craft Week. Thanks for stopping by.

Rosemary x


A Foamiran First!

I have just been lucky enough to spend a crafty weekend with some friends in the Peak District and one of the group led us through this delightful project. I was excited to try foamiran, probably being the only crafter on the planet not to have used it!


We gessoed the birdhouses first and I used a baby wipe and oil pastels to add some pale colour to the raised piece on the front (you can see this on the finished project).


I diecut some flowers and leaves from white foamiran. Any of your dies can be used but I chose the Tim Holtz Poinsettia deep die for my focal pieces.


I  used baby wipes and oil pastels to colour the flowers and leaves on both sides. You can use other colouring mediums too, or you don’t have to colour your own foamiran at all as you can buy it in loads of colours. I wanted to try colouring my own.


I used my fingers to gently curl and stretch the larger pieces and used the back of a craft iron to shape the smaller flowers and leaves. By laying pieces on the flat of my medium hot iron it took a few seconds for them to curl and spring off.


I layered flowers and leaves and used wire to push stamens through the centres.


I used a hot glue gun to attach the flowers to my birdhouse and filled in with mini baubles, gypsophila, birds etc. I also used some snip art pieces, and ice crystals to add a bit of bling.


I thoroughly enjoyed working with the foamiran and losing myself in the process. It definitely won’t be the last time I use this material.

Hope you are having a good crafty week. Check back in a couple of days to see how paper “speaks to me”.

Rosemary x


Accordian Book How-to.


I love making cards that are so much more than a card. There is no denying that people love photos and just to include even one makes something so much more personal and special. This accordian mini book can be made using one sheet of A4 cardstock to create just two pockets or can be never ending by joining cardstock together.


I had Pearl cardstock that was 24” long so I didn’t have to join any together and I cut it down by folding it in the centre and using a guillotine to cut it to 8” high. I scored along the whole length of it at every 4”, turned it and made one score at 2” to create my fold up pocket. If your card is thick it is advisable to score both sides to gently make it more flexible to folding. I didn’t, in my haste, and had some cracking, which is fine as I intend to ink the folded edges.



I made and covered two pieces of chipboard. My folded book measures 4” x 6” so I made my covers 4 1/2” x 6 1/2” (my cardstock was cut at 5 1/2” x 7 1/2” to allow for wrapping around the chipboard).


Ribbon to close the book must be attached before the covers are attached to the accordion book. Either wrap and attach ribbon around the book as shown or cut two separate pieces and attach one to the front and one to the back. I did go with the latter (not like the photo) so the book would open up fully. Attach the covers securely to the book.



I created a decorative cover for my book by using my distressing tool on a couple of layers of cardstock. I created numbers and shadows numbers using my mini alphabet punch board and glued them offset. I added some floral decoration and a doodled line around the inner edge of the cardstock.



I cut photo mats and small layers to add to the front of my pockets. I embossed the small pieces before attaching them to the front of each pocket. The photo mats I diecut a decorative edge on and these could be used for photos, journalling your message, using quotes or a poem etc. The pockets could have more decoration on them to match your theme. The inserts could have stamps on them.



This book could be made using double-sided decorative paper and could be another stash buster for you!


Have a crafty weekend!

Rosemary x