Thursday, 18 October 2012

An interview and the end of September!

Hi there, well our little catch up journey has now reached the end of September! The 28th to be precise when my interview went live here

Do you remember me mentioning the series of up and coming interviews with British artists in a blog post back in August? I hope you’ve been remembering to pop along on a Friday and meet some of the talented artists that have been interviewed in the series, if you missed out you can still see them all on the blog, including yours truly in spot number 12.

Bernice has done a great job in hosting this series, her interview questions were brilliant and a bit different to the norm and what a great idea to celebrate the British talent that is out there I was honoured to be included in the series and alongside some lovely, talented people too.

So why not pop along and find out a little bit more about me

And be inspired by all the other interviewees.

Thanks for popping by my little corner of blogdom and for those of you that have been in for the long haul of this little catch up thanks for sticking with it ;) I’ll have more to share with you soon until then I hope you are well and happy and as ever

Happy Crafting

Love MJM x

Saturday, 13 October 2012

All aboard the paperarts tour bus!

Hi there, ready to continue our catch up journey? I told you my little life had been a little busy in my recent absence from here ;) Never fear though we are now three quarters of the way into September!

In the midst of the Craft Artist 2 mega launch on Create and Craft I toddled off to Swindon to teach at the Paperarts on tour retreat
and I have to tell you I had the best time! I only wish that I hadn’t had to leave after my second class on the Saturday to get back to Peterborough. I could have quite happily stayed for the rest of the weekend and scrapped to my heart’s content! The delegates were fab, people I’ve known for a while and new friends made. The teachers were great too and I was honoured to be alongside such talent as well as getting to meet some in real life that I have been friends with online for a while. Sue and Rachel did a fantastic job with it all too, the hotel was lovely, the food great, the classrooms spacious, the crop room huge and open for as long as people used it not to mention the shop full of too many goodies for one scrapbooker deprived of being in a real life shop for too long! And not only that they are lovely people with such an attention to detail to make it a perfect weekend. I know I may be gushing a bit but trust me it was great and it had such a happy atmosphere. I know they’re planning next year’s already so maybe you should jump on the bus!!

These are the classes I taught


Not my usual colour scheme but I asked Sue to put kits together for me, I don’t like that bit and I like a challenge too, it makes me think outside the box and I'm really pleased with the result

The kit included viva decor inka gold paste, if you haven’t played with it yet give it a go, something completely different! On the layout we used it on the chipboard shapes once we had papier mached them with loo roll (classy me ;)) to create an almost metallic look.

The second class was this one

A snapshot of happiness

Remember that book page I posted back in August? Can you spot it?

We had lots of stencil and stamp paint for this layout which we stencilled with, smeared, stamped with cups and splattered, a good messy time was had by all ;)

Now I did take my camera with me but as ever useless me forgot all about taking pics until right at the end of the last class ....I know what kind of scrapbooker am I? So all I have is this one photo of the last men standing in class (well Katy Fox and Penny alongside some other lovelies LOL)

So if you were there and you are reading this thanks for a great weekend, I had a blast!

That’s it for this post, one more catch up to get us to the end of September so until then as ever I hope you’re well and happy, thanks for stopping by and until next time

Happy Crafting

Love MJM x

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A crazy launch

Hi there and welcome to my little corner of blogdom.
I have been on a catch up of my little life in my last few posts as I was absent from my corner of cyber space for about a month and a half, I thought I would explain that if you have just stumbled across this and wonder what’s going on, however if you’ve been keeping up with me let the story continue .....

Most of September was taken up with the launch of Craft Artist 2 professional

The superb graphic software I demonstrate on Create and Craft TV. We launched it as a blockbuster on the 14th of September alongside a Pick of the week which was a superb collection of royalty free graphic brushes and stamps (I REALLY like them!) I am pleased to say it was a massive success and a crazy week and a half and thrilled we have welcomed thousands more into the Craft Artist world.

Here are some of the pages I created when I was learning the new bits...

A page about our trip to the Rewind 80’s festival using the new software, the daydream digi kit included and some of those graphic stamps. The background is a full photo blend into the background paper, all done with the touch of a button.

A page about that instant garden I told you about again using the kit included in the software and some of those graphic stamps. Notice the little blue bird in the sky? That’s a graphic stamp re-coloured and digitally decoupaged with one of the new software tools and the clouds are painted with one of the software’s digi brushes.

My nieces when they visited in August when we went to the maritime experience. I’ve used the new re-colouring tools on this one (I really love the new re-colouring capability) alongside the included digi kit and yes more of those graphic stamps

How cool is this? One of the new Digi punches in the software that makes anything into a jigsaw image. I’ve also used one of the graphic styles to ‘stamp’ the background, yes you can actually make things look like they have been stamped and even get the faded look like you do when you need to re-ink the stamp!

So if you haven’t got your hands on this amazing piece of software why not go and check it out, I think it’s amazing and not just because I demonstrate it, as a designer I can do so much with it but don’t need to know how it works as it’s all done with the touch of a button, oh and don’t be put off by the ridiculously low price you will be amazed at what this little beauty does.

Right that’s me for this post I’m going to leave you with a little love

Digi punch, Digi decoupage, graphic style on the middle heart that started out as a black graphic get the picture ;)

Thanks for stopping by, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I hope you’ll stop by soon for a little more catch up (nearly there LOL) Until then as ever

Happy Crafting

Love MJM x

Monday, 8 October 2012

Still on my little life catch up!

Here I am again with another little life catch up ;) I’m going back a bit now from the last post to talk about the beginning of September which is where I left you the blog post before last ....confused? Welcome to my world LOL

At the beginning of September there was another addition to the family

Welcome Evie the newest little person in my Step sons family, she is the floppiest baby I have ever met! She was 10lbs when she was born but surprisingly small when we went down to Devon to meet her. (At this point I will say note to self next time we visit the West Country to see hubs family we will fly, that was one heck of a car journey!) But she is obviously a considerate baby as she was born just before we were travelling down to Devon for Hubs Mums 80th birthday party so we could tie it all up in one weekend!

It was an afternoon affair set up like a tea party/street party. One end was all ‘Kath Kidson’, cupcakes and cream teas and the other end was a British street party come end of the pier fairground complete with a Punch and Judy man and games including a tin can alley and even hook a duck with colourful little ducks bobbing about in a washing up bowl LOL We also made some £1 notes (remember those?) with hubs mums face on so people paid to play the games, it was great fun for young and old alike and was something completely different.

That’s it for this post. I’ll leave you with this

A page to document the arrival of little Evie which was created with Craft Artist2 professional and the Daydream kit included in the software, more about that in the next post!

Thanks for stopping by. As ever I hope you are well and happy and I look forward to *seeing you* soon, until then

Happy Crafting

Love MJM x

Friday, 5 October 2012

A sketch challenge to share

Yoo hoo! Surprise!! Told you I’d be back soon bet you didn’t believe me did you LOL

I am popping in here to continue my catch up although a little out of chronological order today as I want to drop this off. My version of the sketch challenge over on the Sketch book 365 blog. I know the October sketch will be going live soon so I didn’t want to miss the boat on this one!

The scrap365 blog is a great place of inspiration and of course is an extension of the fabulous Scrap365 magazine. Every month the design team is sent a sketch to work with for the Sketch book 365 blog and then you also get to play along with us.

This was the sketch for September

And this is what I came up with

And here are some close ups

The paper is quite highly patterned in the background but I really liked the way it worked with my story, it’s from American crafts and although patterned I still managed to add some paint splatter!

I added some ripped and torn paper then distressed and raised my photos

And the bottle top holds tiny shells all held in place with some crystal glaze

Somewhere I do have a full materials list written down but can I find it? I’ve been tidying, say no more, sorry! Why not pop on over to the Sketch book 365 blog to see what the other designers have come up with, it always amazes me the different ways a sketch can be interpreted, and then why not play along?

Thanks for popping by, I hope you’re well and happy and as I’m on a roll I hope to see you soon ;)

As ever Happy Crafting

Love MJM x

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Oops I did it again!!

Oops I did it again!! Is that song in your head now? ... sorry ;) So I knew it had been a while since I had been here but cannot believe how long that while has been, again! .... Where does time go? Oh I know it’s called life LOL

Life’s been a little busy since I was here last so I am going to attempt a whistle stop tour of what I have been up to. Don’t worry I have split up my posts into chunks so I won’t hit you with a month and a half in one go! So shall we start from where I left?

We were off to the Rewind 80’s festival last you heard and attempting a weekend under canvas for the first time! Well we went, we had a fab time and we survived

The weather couldn’t have been better after all the rain we had had up until then, it ended up being the weekend of the summer and temperatures reached 30 where we were in Henley, in fact the sun was so fierce it was like being back in the Amazon and it actually burnt me through my cut off jeans on the Sunday!!

The Pimms flowed freely and the bands were great my faves were Adam Ant, Midge Ure, Tony Hadley, Rick Astley (yep that’s a surprise to me too!) Jimmy Somerville, Sinita rocked it and looked amazing! Marc Almond (how I wish I could bottle the joy that oozed from that man!) and OMD closed the weekend in style.

And the Glamping? Well the cloudhouse was brilliant be decked with a double bed already made up for us and festooned with fairy lights and I think we coped really well, I enjoyed it lots but don’t think Hubs is over convinced to be running out and buying a tent just yet LOL and the saving grace of the weekend were the posh loos we paid for run by a company called ‘When Nature calls’ worth every single penny and more!!

The next thing, once were home, was we built an instant garden

No kidding! 4 days of hard graft and buying plants et voila ;) The border had turned to jungle, the point of no return and the weeds had loved the wet summer so hero hubs did some man gardening and cleared it all out, weed control material was laid followed by many bags of gravel and confused woofs, plants in pots, Angelina in place and the new addition, a present from hubs, our happy little Buddha! I am very proud of our little garden area and even more proud that the plants have actually been growing and I haven’t managed to kill any....yet! I was not blessed with green fingers although I do believe there is a gardener somewhere in me trying to get out LOL

We then had the girls to stay

Our lovely nieces! My sister and the girls visited mum and dad near the end of August and I took great pleasure in having them all round for a family Sunday lunch to christen the house. The girls stayed with us for a couple of days, we visited Flamingo Land, as you can see the weather was ‘fresh’ but we had a great time and we visited the Maritime experience in Hartlepool, well worth a visit!

Just  before the girls came to stay I went to the Serif offices for training on the new Craft artist 2 software (that’s for another post) and I was prepping for a 4 day deal on Create and craft TV with the Daisy Trail Aviary kits from Serif
Aviary English garden digi kit
Aviary Exotic digi kit
Aviary Fables digi kit

 And kits from the Lovely Angie Hinksman

Created with the Cool Britannia kit from Angies collection, That's my friend playing behind Robbie, Colour Sgt Beckett MBE, so proud of him and the blended photo in the background is the band playing at the Jubilee concert.

So that takes us into the beginning of September and the end of this post that kind of grew with my waffle ... sorry but I can’t help myself once I get chatting ;)

I’ll leave you in peace now with this little thought

created with Angi Hinksman true Romantics digi kit

I hope you’re well and happy, thanks for stopping by and hopefully see you soon for the rest of my ‘little’ catch up (and the posts will be there, I am scheduling them now LOL)

As ever until soon

Happy Crafting

Love MJM x

Monday, 13 August 2012

Time flies as usual!

Well hello again!

Ok I know a week has passed already.... how? I don’t know but at least I am here again with only 7 days to catch up on .... I count that as a small miracle ;) Actually talking of time I read a fabulous quote today which sums up me and my nemesis

Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly’
Ivan Turgenev

Right now it seems time has flown since last I sat here to write but looking back I think I haven’t noticed the passing of time as I’ve been happy in my pottering so that’s a good thing right?

So what do I have to share? Well I have been happy reading the books recently acquired from mum and dad and getting those creative juices flowing again, this one

As ever has made me smile, think and start getting messy again. I find Claudine Hellmuth a real inspiration and can tell you she is a lovely lady after being lucky enough to meet her at CHA a couple of years ago :)

I created this in ‘Michelle style’ after leafing through this fab book. Its part of something I’ve been creating this week that I can’t share yet but will soon.... promise! I urge you, if you like to dabble in different techniques, to snag a Claudine book or two and get playing.... it will make you happy ... it has me!

Lots of you have been asking about the Serif craft artist samples I’ve had on TV and where you can see them ... I will be putting them in my website gallery when I get the website ship shape again but will share this one with you

One of my favourites from the recent Paula Philips 4 day deal it uses Love in the air digi kit and is a layout showing the 2 grandchildren ... soon to be 3!

There is something special happening in cyber space too that I want to share. It’s called

And is the brain child of the lovely BerniceHopper. It’s a celebration of British scrappers, altered artists, art journallers and artists ... a great idea and some great British talent to get to know if you don’t know them already! (Yours truly will be interviewed on there at the end of September) Go and check it out when you’ve finished visiting here and be inspired!

Talking of being inspired, being excited about being home in the North East still hasn’t worn off and I am inspired daily

Enough said!

Back to the time thing (again!) I don’t know where the last year has gone but I am again on countdown for the Rewind 80’sfestival this weekend. This was last year

Created with Serif Photo projects, lifestyle kit. We had THE BEST time and know we will again this year, although this year we have opted to go glamping instead of taking an hotel room.... 1st time ‘under canvas’ for us both although it is a cloudhouse and not a tent and is supplied with a bed, bedding, fluffy rugs and tea lights ... but it’s still ‘camping’ right? I don’t think we’ll be very good at it but we’ll have a blast along the way.... please feel free to start doing sun dances for us now ... I’m dancing like fury LOL!

And finally, my boys.....

Settling in and purveying all that they own!

Enjoying the TORRENTIAL downpours we have had and thinking I’ve installed their own private swimming pool as the patio flooded!!

And one soggy, happy Stanley dog, Ollie wouldn’t stay still for a decent pic :D

Well that’s it I think, oh we got 2 new sofas delivered finally this week (don’t ask!) and the old one taken away today so a new chapter now really begins :) I'll leave you with this

made with Paula Phillips digi kit and Serif craft artist

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’re well and happy and as ever until soon

Happy Crafting
M x

Monday, 6 August 2012

TIME to get back on track!!

Hi there!

Well I am still alive.... Just about LOL. The last time I was here I told you that I was moving house and may not be around for a while, however, I didn’t intend my absence to be this long!

The move went well and was relatively easy actually and we are ridiculously happy living up here, I am so pleased to be home in my beloved North East although I still find it weird I can see my family and friends easily and leave them knowing it won’t be months or indeed years until I see them again. This is a digi page I made using Serif Craft artist professional and the Daisy Trail digi kit Welcome

Our lovely quirky house that I have been nesting in. Every box and bag is now unpacked and we are surrounded by all our nick knacks, works of art gathered from our travels and sparkly bits, all we are now waiting for are the new sofas promised 2 weeks ago but that’s a whole other story!!  

In amongst the move Hubs has spent a lot of time away working and I‘ve been a busy bee with create and craft tv shows and scrap365 magazine deadlines.

Now it’s all settling it’s quite strange to find I have some time to finally do some things that I want to do, getting to grips with my blog and finally re launching my website being some of the things on my list!

Today I’ve been reading one of the books that my mum and dad got me for my birthday recently and it’s one of those books that landed in my path at just the right time.

Pam Carriker, the author and the other talented artists that have contributed to the book seem to be speaking to me right now, does a book ever do that to you? I have recently found myself a little stifled creatively and know that it is down to me, I let life take over and chores and tasks overwhelm me sometimes and leave myself no time to ‘play’ I’ve lost the joy of my hobby a little along the way and that makes me sad but I am starting to feel the quiet knock of mojo and the itching of the fingers and intend to create time to ...... well create! I also enjoyed reading the section on cyber space and laughed out loud as I realised I am not alone in getting lost in the black hole at times and that it is ok to limit computer time and manage my visits to cyber space to connect, to share and to enjoy again.

So basically I need to manage my time, allow myself time to create like I used to without that slight guilt feeling I get and also not to pressure myself into constantly visiting cyber space (‘you don’t’ I hear you cry .... LOL ... what I mean is I worry when I don’t visit cyber space and feel pressure to do it and then start to really dislike it which is another thing that makes me sad) and I want to discover the joy of blogging again like I used to.

I will be looking to this lady for some inspiration

Frida Kahlo, one of my artistic heroines. This is a digi piece of home decor I created for my craft room using the daisy trail kit Gypsy Rose; the colours are perfect for that Mexican folk art feel.

And I will be looking here daily for inspiration

The fabulous North East coast that I have missed so much

And where I take the boys most days..... Needless to say they love it and have been brushing up on their swimming skills LOL

Well hopefully I haven’t waffled too much and hopefully I’ll be back soon to share some more thoughts and crafty projects so until soon, as ever, I hope you are well and happy and I’ll leave you with this thought ...

Created with Daisy trail digi kit thanks

Happy Crafting


M x

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

One little post before I go!

Hi all
Well tomorrow is M day ...... moving day! As you can imagine I am buried under boxes and all those last minute 'what do I do with that' things and packing the studio ..... well don't get me started LOL But all being well, with a good wind behind us we'll be off tomorrow to start a brand new adventure! I hope the sun shines!!!

So I thought I'd post a few bits before I go, thanks for all the lovely messages, some of you have been asking to see some of the samples I've had on tv .... so here's a couple (a lot of my 'stuff' has been packed so only been able to photograph a couple of bits :))

These were created for the Serif Craft Artist Steam Punk 4 day deal on create and craft TV back at the end of March .....

A hope chest ......

I made the chest out of chipboard and then designed my own decorative papers to cover it.The blend mode in the programme is fab for mixing the backgrounds to make my own papers and the photo real embellishments look great gathered together and shadowed to give that realistic touch

I printed some of the imges off multiple times to create some 3D embellishments and mixed them with some of my own crafty embellishments.

Then I created some scenes on paper to cover the inside of my chest.

This one is a reverse canvas filled with a photo of my niece

And some embellishments layered to make them 3D, with some imagery printed onto acetate to hang within the frame to create more depth

So that's a taster of some of my hybrid projects.

Just before I packed my studio up I completed a commission for scrap365, here's a sneak

to appear in the Sepember issue, I took great joy in getting messy with fibre paste and ink.... well until my new studio is settled I guess it will be a while before I can get messy in my craft room :)

And finally ....

The boys took a last spin in the fields

They don't know it yet but not only will they have fields to play in soon but loads of cliff walks and miles and miles of beach too ..... did I tell you I was a little bit excited??!!!

Ok so I'll sign off for now I will be back as soon as possible and hopefully writing to you from the comfort of my brand new studio! Until then ,as ever, I hope you are well, thanks for stopping by, I'll *see you* soon and of course.....
Happy Crafting
M x