Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I'm home after another 3 days at Belstead and how I wish I could have stayed longer!  My creative energy bounced back and the time went even quicker than usual, so I am left frustrated as I started new projects that I want to work on.  Such is life.  Some of these are packed away until until Saturday and I can atleast look forward to my monthly Eclectic Keepsakes crop.  And I am off work all week, so I really should not feel too sorry for myself.  At least I have time to start on some major decluttering and rearranging around the house.  This is something long over due and it will eventually allow me more time for creating and crafting,  so I need to use that as my motivation.

Belstead gives me an opportunity to spend more time with my friends and I was extra excited this time as I met  Pauline, my 'Explore' Buddy.  I'd told Pauline about Belstead and she lost no time in booking a place for herself...... and it was like she had always been part of our group.  Pauline only started scrapbooking this year but she seriously has some stash and a natural talent!  We already have plans to meet up again soon, so thanks, Shimelle, for the introduction. 

As I said, most of the things I made at Belstead are works in progress so I will share these over time, but I was especially excited about this:

Moira, our tutor, had laid the table with acrylic paints and dyes for us to get messy with.  So I stamped on one, and used finger and hand prints on the others.  Four of us at Belstead are doing Shimelle's new class, Pretty Papers.  I was in good company because none of us had started any of the daily prompts but this was the day to bite the bullet.  My friends reminded me that we are meant to be using our papers and that my idea of taking my hand made paper home to scan was not the idea.  So I gritted my teeth as I cut into 2 of them!

Then I took a 12" paper that I do not like, and used the plain white side as my base.  I then used scraps and the strips to decorate my paper.  Moira loves her sewing machine and much of her work is multi media.  So, admiring her work I added zig zag and straight stitches to my strips and I must say, it really made a difference to the effect.

Then I measured,  closed my eyes, gritted my teeth even more, and cut into it!!  My bravery was holding up, and I was amazed how just by reading the daily prompts, Shimelle had changed my perspective on using paper rather than stroking it or saving it for that extra-special project.  After all, I told myself, my time is worth something and that should be reason enough to use my paper!  I added a few stamped words onto the A4 piece and then laminated the page.  To finish, I applied spray adhesive on the back, added a piece of felt, and then sewed across the top edge.  Finally, I folded into three to make a wallet, and used the sewing machine to run a line of stitching down each side and across the top of the flap.  

These instructions may not be clear without detailed instructions, so if you would like me to add these please let me know.  Unfortantly I am feeling pressured for time and really do need to make an impact around the house this week.

With the 4"x12" piece that was left of my paper, I made a mini album to fit inside wallet.  This was a labour of love, as it seemed to take hours and I was impatient to finish so that I could start other projects.  But I was pleased with the result and I will have to show this another time as I just realised I have no photos of it as yet.

So, a big thank you to Shimelle for helping be break my resistance to cut into paper.  It became a bit of a joke around the table as I took other complete 12" papers and cut into them, sometimes six or ten papers at a time.  It felt a sense of relief and was very liberating!  I'll share more of what I made another time.  Including the Halloween tag books that are still work in progress!

And an equally big thank you to Moira Neal for running such amazing courses at Belstead.  Moira never ceases to amaze me with her range of ideas and techniques.  And I'm already booked for the next two in February and November.  If you want to come book soon - places are already limited!!


  1. It sounds like a lot of fun! I love to layer strips up like that - sometimes then I cut a shape out of card and lay it over the top so the strips show through. That's nice for cards.

    One of these days I will bite the bullet and book a place on a retreat..

  2. That sounds an interesting idea, Sian. I will certainly be cutting strips in future & making my own designs.
    Do book a retreat! Friends at my crop go away and use prepared kits and papers. As I am not a scrapbooker I prefer Moira's residential as she likes to upcycle, design her own papers, and is experimental. There's not a design paper or embellishment in sight and I know that wouldn't suit everyone, but I love this approach.
    Choose carefully and you won't go wrong. You will be guarenteed a great weekend and new friends in the making. I'm already looking forward to my next retreat!

  3. Glad you had such fun! I like the cutting up and recombining papers to make news idea - that might shift a lot of stuff out of my paper containers!

  4. So glad you enjoyed, what sounds like a wonderful course Sandie!

  5. It was great to see you again at Belstead Sandie...you worked really hard and made some lovely projects. I'm impressed you have blogged already....I have no idea how to get the pics out of my phone!!!! Moira xx

  6. Hi, thought I'd pop across to your blog as I often catch sight of you on Moira's! Glad to hear Belstead went well. I'd heard it was closing but that can't be the case if you are booked for February. I was amused to read how you wanted to stroke the paper rather than use it. I feel that way about a wonderful tube of bright pink paint I once bought...

  7. Sadly there is still talk of Belstead closing, Sandra, but there are courses running throughout 2012. We live in hope something will be done to keep it open and I am going to make the most of this wonderful place while I can!

  8. Sounds like you had a great time ! See you on Saturday.

  9. Sounds like you had a wonderfully creative weekend!
    Alison xx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...