31 January 2011

Weekend in Sydney

Our weekend away was a bit full on & exhausting, with early flights & super late nights. However it was heaps of fun.

My husband & his friend had a chance to go meet the Deftones backstage after the concert friday night, which was a dream come true for them. My hubby is actually in a heavy metal band that tours Australia semi regularly, so while he has a day job, music is his passion.

Here are some Sydney weekend pics of the boys & their idols & the Sydney icons: Opera house & harbour bridge. My hubby is the one in the black shirt who isn't pulling a stupid face. The other is his best mate and singer in his band.
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26 January 2011

What's On To Your Workdesk Australia Day Wednesday

Happy Australia Day everyone. So its a holiday here and today my husband and I are spending our day off with our wedding photographer, having our wedding album design session. Its supposed to take about 6 hours so it will be fun... but a long day.

Otherwise, I'm off to Sydney on Friday until Sunday this week for what appears to be a boys weekend. My husband and 2 of his band members are keen to go watch an international band, the Deftones, down in Sydney so I'm along for the ride.

As you can see, Miss Felix never really wanders far from her desk. But it is getting messier with a bigger pile of stamps and stuff after my shopping spree last week.

So these are the two layouts I have been working on for a couple of days, also for my honeymoon album. They are incomplete, but I would love some advice from all you lovely ladies as I'm not really sure what to do to make them more interesting. I will most likely add another title below the large photo on the second layout, with our cruise dates. But otherwise, how can I embellish them to make them more interesting. I really do struggle with the 3D style layouts so any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Be sure to check out eveyone else's work desk's at Stamping-ground. Happy Wednesday!

24 January 2011

My First Blog Award - Thanks Shaz!

As a blogger newbie, I have met some amazing people online and one who has been of great encouragement and wisdom is Shaz In Oz and now Shaz has even tagged me for an award.

Thank you so much Shaz.
It is an honour to accept the award and I would now like to pass it on to a few other bloggers who have welcomed me into blog land and provided inspiration and guidence.
So everyone please be sure to give them and Shaz a visit to see their lovely creative work!

Dear bloggers:The aim of this action is that we bring unknown, good blogs to light, so I would ask you not to blog fellow bloggers that already have 3,000 followers.As always, the hardest part is to pick who to pass this on to, there are so many bloggers I could give it to, so....... I have chosen youSorry I couldn't choose more of you lovely blogging friends. The rules say a maximum of 5 .

There are a couple of conditions for the award:
If you want to take part, then create a post where you post the 'LOVE BLOG' image.
You should also blog the persons link that gave you the award and inform her/him that you accept the award.
You can then choose 3 - 5 favourite blogs which you also link in your post, then each blogger will inform you that they have been tagged.


Interactive Honeymoon Title Page Layout

I was watching tutorials on you tube the other day & came across a great video by Swissgirl90. It was an interactive layout with a flip down journalling section. I am still fairly new to journalling and not overly confident so it's a great solution to keeping it subtle.

I'm not totally happy with the way the layout turned out overall, but it's all part of the learning experience.

The photo is of us on the final day of our Fiji island cruise in our complementary sulus (sarongs). I've used our return ticket stubs from our flight as an embellishment and created a banner with cardboard embellishments and letter stickers. I've used foam tape to give it a more 3D effect.

When you flip open the photo, the journalling has been printed on patterned vellum paper. I think this was maybe too much. I've also decorated this and other parts with flowers punches and stamps, along with some artificial flowers and brads.

The honeymoon title box is probably the part I like least. I was trying to incorporate colours similar to the banner but it did not work as well as hoped.

I plan on entering this layout to the Scrap Our Stash 'NEW' challenge, as the interactive layout is a new technique I have used and the honeymoon represented our new status as husband and wife.

You can view the video by Swissgirl90 from youtube.com here
Let me know your thoughts.

23 January 2011

Scrapbooking Sunday - A Day At The Louvre

As part of our big European Christmas trip in 2008-09, we spent a large portion of a day at the Lourve museum. It was pretty amazing seeing some of the artworks I had studied during high school art class. Not to mention the ever so famous... yet incredibly tiny Mona Lisa. A bit of a let down really. Who would have through it was barely A4 size. But its still pretty unreal to say we've been there. It had me feeling very much in the mood for Dan Brown's "The Davinci Code" all over again.

If you have been there you would know it is a mammoth of a place and the biggest museum in the world. Well we only had a week in Paris so as much as we could have easily spent half of it exploring the Louvre, we had far too much else to see. And funny enough, it took us over an hour to find the exit. Still cannot believe how hard it was to find a way out of that place. Its like a maze. You see an exit sign but it leads to another display room and another and finally, we were near desperate when we did reach the surface again. I think I'm too scared to go back again now in case we get lost in there again!

The following scrap layouts were done in honour of our day at the Lourve. Let me know what you think, remembering I'm a scrapper newbie and have a lot of learning to do. I haven't yet worked out how to photograph a 12 x 12 page very well either. Advice much welcome.

22 January 2011

Look What I Purchased...

It's been a bit like christmas in january today. Here are all the goodies I purchased this morning. Lots of papers, stamps, stamp pads (including a white chalk one as recommended by Shaz in Oz), some stamp cleaner and mounts, a craft knife & some embellishments. How exciting!

We also got our final wedding gift registry items delivered, so that's more nice things to use... In the rest of the house. Great start to the weekend :-)
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21 January 2011

Going Craft Shopping Tomorrow - What Should I Buy?

Hi everyone,
There is a sale on at our local mega craft type store here in Australia (Spotlight) and I was going to go on a bit of a shopping spree.

I've just started stamping and have 2 stamp pads and a couple of clear rubber stamps.

I also have a cuttlebug on the way with a few different embossing folders and dies.

So what other accessories are recommended for me to purchase tomorrow? Please give me lots of suggestions so I know what else is helpful for stamping and other paper crafts.

Thanks :-)

Things I have Learnt This Fortnight

As an eager learner, I have taken it upon myself to learn as much as I can in the past couple of weeks and amazingly enough, I have actually learnt quite a lot. I thought I would share some of these things.

1. I discovered the Cuttlebug and decided I want one... its on its way!

2. I discovered how useful stamping could be in scrapbooking and got some... I have even done my first stamping embellishments in my latest scrap layout.

3. I learnt how to distress paper, through a youtube tutorial. I have done this in my latest layout and can't wait to try some of the other techniques I found for distressing in future creations.

4. I created my very first attempt at a vintage style layout.

5. There is such thing as scrapbooking challenges... and I entered a couple.

6. I don't always have to do two page layouts when scrapbooking.

7. The most important thing I've learnt is to be brave and try new things.. experiment and just give it a go.

Those are just a few of the things I discovered recently that will take me much further with my scrapbooking and maybe other areas such as card making in the future. It has been a fun and challenging couple of weeks, and I'm only just getting started.

Thank you to everyone who has assisted in tips, advice and encouragement. I look forward to sharing lots more with you all in future :-)

Scrappassion VINTAGE Scrap Challenge - Finished Layout

Hi Everyone,
I am so happy to announce I have finished this layout. I has been a real challenge. Firstly it was my first attempt at using stamps. Secondly, it was my first attempt at doing Vintage style and third, it was also my first attempt at a single page layout that isn't a cover page for an album. So overall I feel very proud of myself for what I have achieved. I still struggle a little with lots of embellishment but am working my way up.

Another new technique I used on this layout was distressing the edges of the paper, which I learnt through youtube.com tutorials. I also gave my tag an aged look through a similar technique and adding ink, so very experimental for my usual safe techniques.

The inspiration for this layout was the Scrappassion Challenge Blogs current Vintage challenge. I thought it would be a great way to inspire myself to try some new things. The idea is also to have a word that describes yourself for the coming year. In this case I chose 'WIFE' and the reason for this is because I am recently married and while it may not be an emotion or a challenge or anything, being a wife is something new for me which I will continue to adjust to in 2011. Mostly, its a good reminder that I have a different last name now and to remember to call my partner 'husband' instead of boyfriend or fiance.

These last few photos give a bit better of an idea on the details, including the attempt to make the butterflies look a bit more 3D by layering 2 large ones and by using puffy tape under them. The bottom image is the slightly unfinished version but gives a better idea of the true colours of the background paper.

So please let me know what you think of my layout.

19 January 2011

My First Stamps

After seeing so much about stamping on other blogs & tutorials, I decided to give it a go myself. I received my first stamps from ebay today.

Wish me luck and please give me lots of advice !
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WOYWW 85 - A Cat...

Happy Wednesday everyone.

So this week has been moderately productive. I finished a scrap layout & started some new ones. I also splurged online with some new crafting items. Some have arrived but I haven't opened them yet.

I also moved back to old habits of working on the floor. I like the extra space & my cat likes the desk too much.

As you can see, I am working on a wedding themed page, which will be for a scrap passion challenge. As well as another honeymoon page.

Check out some other people's creative spaces at Stamping Ground.

Hope you enjoyed your visit.
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Wedding Wednesday - DIY Stationary

There was once a time when wedding stationary was one of the larger costs in the lead up to your big day. Most couples would pay a calligrapher or other professional stationary maker to create their invitations, place cards, order of service and everything else. This soon added up the costs and made the plan for an inexpensive wedding blow way beyond budget.

These days it is more and more popular for brides and grooms to attempt their own stationary. This is great fun and allows you to be as creative as you like, for a fraction of the cost of a professional. The colour options are endless, as are the styles.

There are thousands of online resources available these days for creating your own wedding stationary, but often it is as simple as having a bit of a play around in a word processing document and buying the right materials. Then all you need is patience and time and you have yourself a very lovingly made DIY stationary set that will wow your guests.

In future weeks I will go into detail on some of my own wedding examples, as well as future invitation samples I will be creating.

18 January 2011

Finished a New Scrap Layout - Honeymoon

After a busy holiday season and the floods, I have finally gotten back into my scrapbooking and messed up my computer room already.

I decided to start in my honeymoon album since I still haven't got all the wedding photos but am keen to kick off with a new subject... since my Europe albums remain half finished after 2.5 years.

This layout is a double page spread...the only kind I seem to do (with the exception of title pages). I like the way they flow across the pages... although I did not have a second sheet of the nice blue on the right side page. The focus is our 3 night Fiji cruise.

Although it's hard to see, this layout was actually a big achievement for me, as it includes my first journalling attempt. It is typed and printed as I'm not confident enough to write neatly but I am still proud of doing something new. It means I've challenged myself & learnt something since becoming a blogger.

I incorporated a postcard from the cruise in the layout also, then just some basic travel stickers and punch circles. Fairly basic overall but suited to a tropical destination I think.

I am entering the top image in the  Pencil Lines sketch #220. The challenge is probably finished by now but its still nice to have acknowledged some inspiration for that design. I have never entered a challenge so thats something new too.

Sorry the photos are so bad. I always seem to take them at night when the lighting is horrible and they were taken on my mobile phone, so not ideal. Remeber, I am here to learn so all feedback and comments are very welcome :-)

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I'm Getting a Cuttlebug

I have always said upon starting this blog that as much as I love crafting, scrapbooking and all that stuff, I am a total newbie. It was not until I started meeting and visiting lots of others who share these interests on here that I realised exactly how much I do have to learn and already I feel like I have done so.

I had read something about a Cuttlebug and had no idea what it was so did a bit of investigating and realised it was awesome and I had to have one. Lucky enough its my birthday next month so I ordered it this morning and it will technically be my birthday present from my hubby. So excited! I ordered it from Oh My Crafts. http://www.ohmycrafts.com/ and the postage was pretty steep to Australia, but overall with their current special and all the extras I am getting, it worked out better than it would if I'd purchased it here. The current special is $59US for a starter kit with accessories. So hopefully in a couple of weeks my Cuttlebug will arrive and I will be able to create far more with my scrapbooking and other DIY!

Stamping is also something I've never tried so I've also ordered a stack of stamps off eBay this week. Overall its been quite the craft shopping frenzy. Cannot wait to receive my new goodies!

16 January 2011

Scrapbooking Sunday - Neuschwanstein Castle

After a week in Paris, our 2008-09 Europe trip took us through parts if beautiful Germany. One of my favourite places we visited was Neuschwanstein Castle, which was the inspiration of the Disney castle.

Again this was early in my scrapbooking stages. It's a pretty basic spread, before I discovered more advanced embellishing skills ;-). Let me know what you think.

13 January 2011

WOYWW - A Day Late

So it's thursday here but it's been hard to keep up. I figure I might as well make some use of my time. I am finishing of the photo guest book as it sounds like we should get through to my parents anniversary dinner.

I've also been writing up some long overdue wedding thank you cards, hence the excel spreadsheet.

I've included a photo of the latest edition to my craft room. A spare tv unit that is ideal for holding all my scrapbooking supplies.

I'm still a WOYWW newbie, but if you're interested to see what this is all about. Check out Stamping-Ground and you'll soon find out!
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12 January 2011

Flood Update

The floods here in Australia have reached their peak level in some areas but still to rise in Brisbane over night.Here in my own city of Ipswich, it has been surreal. Restaurants we’ve eaten in completely under water. So many homes & businesses ruined. No power to many homes. Its so sad.

The death toll has reached 13 but will rise with more than 60 people reported missing.

My own suburb has been impacted but not near our home. We went for a walk today though, to see the local area.The local park looks like a swamp and what was once a bridge has completely disappeared to the point where we could not see where the water ends on the other side.

So many roads are flooded and I’m devastated we will most likely be unable to get to my parents area for their 40th wedding anniversary dinner tomorrow night. Neither will my sister, who narrowly missed a landslide on the highway near her home last night.

Very tragic times. So many sad stories. Thousands of people in emergency evacuation centres.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt to go to work for a while at least. I work in a prison as a psychologist and I know due to the amount of impact from the flood, they were operating with about 26 staff. That's about half or less than what we would normally have. I know few people will make it in tomorrow so I think it'll mostly to be to help with handing out meals and all that sort of stuff.

Wedding Wednesday - Choosing a Photographer

 As many bride-to-be's soon learn, picking your photographer is almost as important as picking your date and venue. Certainly there will always be a wedding photographer available at the last minute, if somehow you forget this important task. Afterall, it seems like wedding photographers grow on trees at times with the numerous options available. However it does not take an expert to realise the difference between a skilled wedding photographer, and someone who takes okay pics.

Budget is of course one of the important factors to consider before searching for a wedding photographer. Right at the start when you do up your rough budget, decide with your partner how much you are willing to spend on photography, remembering you may also wish to hire a videographer too. It is also important to know what type of style you like. Some prefer the traditional portrait style, however these days candid photos are much more popular and capture the true vibe of the day. The best way to do this is online or by flicking through bridal magazines. Once you have made these decisions, then you can begin searching for quotes.

One of the best parts of wedding planning these days is how easy it has become with the internet. This is where most of your wedding research will take place. Start by searching for wedding photographers from bridal websites or magazines. Once you find a handful that you like, request a quote via phone or email. Make sure you find out exactly what is included. Through this process you will be able to shortlist a couple of photographers whose work you like, who is available on your wedding day and who fit with your budget. Try to keep this number between 2-5 to avoid the decision being too hard.
Meet with your short list of photographers. While they may create stunning photos, you need to feel comfortable on the day So make sure you find a photographer who both your partner and yourself like and feel relaxed with. It will show in your photos.

Most photographers offer different prices packages so know what is most important to you. Do you want full coverage of the entire day or just the ceremony? Do you want an album or are you happy with a disc of images? Do you get high res images with your package or does this cost extra? All of these are important in making your final decision.

11 January 2011


Okay, so I kept seeing posts with these letters everywhere on crafty blogs & finally tracked it down.

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Very cool way of finding other like minded individuals. I'm almost a week late since its 2 hours off Wednesday here in australia, but better late than never.

I used to work on the loungeroom floor, then the spare room floor, but cleaned our office on the weekend & created an actual workdesk. It's small, but better on the posture.
That's Felix the cat. I'm currently finalising my parents anniversary guest book from an earlier post.
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Blog Candy

Hi everyone,
For something a bit more positive than my current flood situation here in Australia, Kim at Craft Makes is having a competition to win a gorgous foam mounted stamp. Head on over to check out this awesome creative blog and enter the competition.

Crafty Makes: Blog Candy!

Sad Times in Queensland

Here in Australia we are experiencing tragic times. Our weather patterns have gone from several years of drought to an opposite extreme, with severe floods & the worse to come. In my area, it is expected to peak around midnight at 17.2metres.

My sister is flooded in about 20 minutes down the road. Her horses have been moved to higher ground, as her fences are under water. So scared for her. She is 6 months & has 6 children & many animals to care for.

Things are bad. 8 lives lost already & 72 people missing. Many suburbs being evacuated. We should be fine here but who knows for sure. Such a sad & scary time.
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09 January 2011

DIY - Photo Guest Book

Avon, here in Australia released a heap of scrapbooking kits over the past few years & mum, being an avon lady at the time ended up with a stack of them. However, they aren’t ideal, as they are spiral books, slightly bigger than A4 size. They have a stack of pages though, so in a random burst of inspiration last year, I found the perfect purpose for them.
For our engagement party, I liked the idea of a photo guest book, using a polaroid camera. We couldn’t find a polaroid so I came up with a new idea.

I covered all the pages with paper, in the party theme colours. Like a scrapbook, but minus the photos. I used a lot of plain black & white cardstock & paper, mixed with patterned pages.
At our engagement party, we set the book up inside with different coloured pens & our guests signed all through the plain sections of the book. Afterwards, I decorated the patterned sections with photos from the night, trying to put photos of guests near their messages.

We now have a wonderful photo guest book to remember the night from.

This can be done with any spiral style book. The scrapbooks with plastic sleeves won’t work as well.
I am currently working on a new guest book for my parents 40th wedding anniversary dinner this week. It’s their ruby anniversary, so decorated with lots of red papers. I will be scattering the pages with photos from their wedding day & life together, then again adding more photos of the night afterwards.

Here are some page examples:

This idea works well for pretty much any special occassion. It can be done for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and the list goes on. All you need is a suitable book, with thick pages, and lots of acid and lingin free scrapbooking papers, a glue stick or double sided tape and photos, depending if you want the book completely blank or already pre-filled with a few related photos. Its always good to have a front page photo as a title page but pretty much the sky is the limit when creating your own guestbook.

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Scrapbooking Sunday - First Sights of Paris

I am by no means an awesome scrapbooker, however I love it and feel that I am improving with practice. I thought it would be fun to share one of my weekly scrapbooking spreads on my blog to keep the motivation going. I also welcome any advice you may wish to offer in improving my scrapping skills.

In the weeks before and after christmas 2008, my husband & I, and his family travelled to Europe for a holiday. These photos were taken on our first day in Paris. It is also one of my early attempts at scrapbooking. I used a map and metro tickets to embellish the pages, along with 3D France inspired stickers. It also includes our Air France on board menu, which can be opened up and read. Nice way of saving the memory.

Sorry the photos are terrible. They were taken on my phone.

Comments are most welcome.

08 January 2011

Spring Clean... A Few Months Late

Today I got the motivation up to clean out our office/computer room. We moved into our home 18 months ago and since then, this room has just become the dumping grounds for everything that did not have a place. It even had boxes of stuff from when we moved that were never unpacked. Today, I have spent a good 8 hours or near to it, emptying the room out and moving everything around. Its amazing how big it looks without all the clutter. I even managed to convert my corner computer desk into a wall length computer and crafting desk. Much more useful desk now!

The only negative is that there are now a few big boxes of stuff that I have not found a home for. Most of it will hopefully sell at a garage sale at Mum's in February. But some will need a different home in the house.

One thing I do know is that I am going to be soooooo sore tomorrow. I can already feel my muscles starting to ache after all the heavy lifting and dragging of furniture. But I am proud of my effort!

07 January 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011

To be honest, I have never been particuarly committed to making resolutions, however this year might be a nice time to start. Without labelling them as resolutions, I have already decided on a couple of set goals.

The big focus is on paying off our debts. I am awesome at budgetting but the wedding put us back a bit (not to mention 2 overseas holidays last year), but we are on our way to getting our credit cards back to zero. And hopefully by our 1 year anniversary in October, we will be able to afford a nice little tropical holiday. Vanuatu maybe? Phuket? Either would be nice.

I am also committed to ensuring my veggies grow well and do not suffer the fate of previous attempts. Thankfully it hasn't stopped raining in the past 2 months in Queensland, Australia, so that's kind of easy.

I will also dedicate lots of time to finishing my scrap books from Europe (2008 & 2010), honeymoon (Fiji) and wedding. As well as exploring new and exciting forms of DIY.

Then of course, my plan to post at least once a week to this blog.

DIY - Raised Veggie Patch

For christmas this year I asked my parents to get me a raised garden bed. The hardware stores had corrugated iron or wood ones, but were too small or really expensive, so my Dad built me one.
Pretty much all you need is treated wood to the size you want you garden bed, some nails, a hammer and weed mesh, then just soil and seeds once you're ready to go. My garden bed is around 2.4 x 1.8 metres. Then it is just a matter of placing it where you want it, remembering it is not something you can move around as there is no base. A location that gets the morning sun most often during the year is best.
Then just fill it with soil or bags of potting mix & get planting! I used potting mix and it took about 16 bags, but at least I know it's made for growing, already full of nutrients.

Here is the garden bed prior to planting. As you can see it has a layer of weed mesh underneath to prevent weeds growing through.

The next two pictures are of my veggie patch less than 2 weeks after planing and already there are shoots coming through. Very exciting for someone lacking a green thumb!

I will be sure to keep you posted on my gardening progress... as in the past I have managed to kill my prior attempts. But they were in pots... so surely by getting this serious, it will be a total success ;-)

06 January 2011

Wedding Wednesday - You're Engaged... Now What?

He popped the question. You've told everyone you know and now you keep getting asked 'When is the big day?'. So what happens now?

There is so much to organise for a wedding that people often underestimate the effort that goes into planning the perfect day. Unless you've already been planning this day from the moment you could walk, its likely you will have a lot to decide before you can even start. The most important place to start is by having a detailed discussion with your partner. Focus on the following:
  •  Type of wedding you both want
  •  Approximate number of guests
  • Sit down, cocktail, lunch, dinner, etc
  • Your budget
  • When you want to get married - spring, summer, etc
  •  Where you want to get married - garden, beach, etc 
  • How you want to get married - priest, celebrant, etc
  •  And any other important aspects either of you wish to include

It is also vital to talk to your families and anyone else who may be contributing to costs, to assist you in working out your budget.
From there you need to start your research on venues and begin short-listing a few that you like through internet searches and bridal magazines. Its essential that your venue has the type of meal options you want, enough room to accommodate your guests and any other considerations you need to make. Also if you are set on a particular date, this plays an important role in picking your venue.

Once you have your short list, make appointments and go check out some potential wedding reception locations. Once this is locked in, not only will you have the where, but also the when and the rest of your wedding plans will flow much easier from this point on!

Post A Week 2011

Wordpress is currently encouraging bloggers to participate in a challenge to do a new post once a day or once a week, depending on which challenge they subscribe to. I think this is a great idea, so to help get my new blog going, I am committing to a weekly blog challenge and will be aiming to post to this blog  once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. I know this will be a challenge at times so I would love for other bloggers to assist in encouragement and motivation along the way. If you have already discovered and begun to read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Harmony Sweetpea

05 January 2011

Every Story Must Have A Beginning

In 2010, I became a happily married wife. In the year leading up to my wedding, I also became a DIY addict.
We had a fairly large wedding, so I wanted to try and keep costs down where I could, but also loved the idea of creating something for my special day, as it was far more personal than paying someone else to do it. So as a result, I made my own invitations, menus, order of service booklets, confetti cones, seating chart and place cards, etc... and loved every minute of it.

Now that my relationship status has changed from bride-to-be to wife, I have experienced major DIY withdrawals which are only partially satisfied by scrapbooking our wedding photos. This lead me to realise how much I love DIY and thus resulting in this website, where I can help others realise the passion and excitement of creating something from scratch!