Prima’s St. Tropez…

Not just for holiday snaps, the limited edition St. Tropez collection by Prima is delightful.

Oozing with cute phrases, eclectic ephemera, stunning illustrations and with the added lushness of copper accents, you’d have to have the serious holiday blues not to adore this collection!

This collection has zest and zing…

After being lent a heart stitched template by Leisa O’Brien at our May retreat, I decided to encompass the orange accents found on some of the ephemera including on the adorable crab chipboard along with the regal blue and knew I had the perfect photo of Nina on our first cruise!

Bless her – she was terrified having to put on her life jacket and we can only assume looking back that she thought we were sinking!

I stitched the heart using orange embroidery thread and then reached for my gelatos. About a year ago, they appeared on nearly every layout, using them I realised I do still love them so no doubt they will be out again!

I can’t claim that all the embellishments are from the St. Tropez collection – a couple of them are from Studio Calico. Either way I had to take a snap of that cute crab!

I loved creating this ‘labour of love’ layout…

I did it a couple of weekends ago when the Hey Little Magpie DT team were away – I always think on the Sunday, backing a cut file is a relaxing, easy layout to complete!

How wrong….

OMG this took the entire day and still wasn’t finished! It should have been so simple, especially as I was only using three of the 6 x 6″ papers. I fiddled and fiddled raising some areas whilst other areas were flat to the layout base!

Whilst us birdies were in Paris we visited a fabulous craft fair – Version Scrap.

We were all taken with the differing stamps, dies and veneer.

I think one stand that only had MDF veneers on it we re-visited twice and kept adding to the goody bag!


Like so many ‘special’ embellishments, I’ve decided that rather than keep them as I can’t bear to use them, I’m going to make the effort to use them – after all I will see them more if they appear on a layout, than tucked away in my stash!

On the above ethos, I decided it apt to use one as a title for this layout…

My last layout uses more typical sandy beach photos, which are ideal for this collection…


I can’t get enough of the word strips, so delicate, so tiny, yet perfectly legible – and such adorable sentiments…


For those of you that attended our May retreat, you may recognise the glue frame – yes, you guessed it, I was Sheena’s guinea-pig!

Too pretty not to use, it was a fabulous addition to the top cluster of embellishments.

Jackie has also been creating with the St. Tropez collection. She has used a couple of ‘beachy’ photos too.

I love this image and the layout, completely clustering around the photo further draws the eye towards the photo!


I also adore this layout featuring a photo of Jackie’s feet!


And although I haven’t scrapped it yet, I’m going to scrap lift it and use this Instagram photo of my feet on the last day of our Thailand holiday!

So if you need ‘me’ time over the six weeks’ break, why not treat yourself and get some of this collection…

I’m sure you’ll agree, it isn’t simply for those gorgeous beach holiday photos?

And better still we have some for sale on our ebay site!

Happy shopping xxx

Love from Birds of a Feather




The mad cow loves stats!

What can I say? This Birds of a Feather mad cow loves stats!

It’s three weeks since we embarked on our first retreat and we are still buzzing from the truly wonderful weekend you guys made it xxx

Thank you to all that completed the feedback form – it really goes a long way into shaping the way forward with our future events… And some of the feedback will be actioned as early as this November.

We’re not a threesome that shies away from the truth, so in the order that the questions were asked, here is the feedback:

Comfort of the bedrooms scored a massive 91.4%.

Now I for one didn’t get to spend much time in mine, but I have to agree that those mattresses are fairly super. And I do love a decent shower in the morning – only wish our pressure was as good at theirs!

Food scored 66.1% – everyone loves the accessibility of the hub, but felt that a sit-down evening meal simply took valuable scrapping time away. We are looking into this for November. Equally, the Sunday carvery scored top marks – guess we all like a bit of tradition!

You scored the crop space as 87.6%, with over 66% of you giving it 5 out of 5 – sadly no matter how hard we try we can’t make those tables grow!

The comfort of the crop room scored a great 88.5%, with over 62% of you giving it 5 out of 5. Personally, I see this as one of our best achievements –  do you remember how hot it was that weekend?

The classroom space achieved a score of 86.6%, although a large number of you felt moving to the classroom unnecessary – again something that we can act on for November.

So how did our class kits do?

100% OF COURSE – a truly fabulous result. We are thrilled with this feedback and it seems to make all the stresses of trying to locate 30 Maggie Homes Chasing Dreams 12 x 12″ chipboards a minor blip – after all whats the world wide web for if it isn’t for locating 12 x 12″ chipboard!

And equally our kits didn’t fair too bad either scoring an overwhelming 99% in the feedback results!

And so the burning question… how did we do overall?

We were given a truly magnificent score of 95.7% and better still 100% of you would recommend us!

Perhaps that’s why we’ve now filled all retreat spaces for November and March 2018.

It goes without saying that all of this isn’t possible without your support and friendship!

After all, Birds of a Feather (and the odd mad cow!) flock together!

1st Retreat – was a Blast ….

And as usual the retreat went far too quickly … but  I wanted to share with you what an amazing fun packed weekend we all had at the end of May.

Be prepared for photo overload of the weekend, and over the coming weeks we will be showcasing the classes and layouts that some of our delegates completed.

The weekend consisted of the amazing Wilna Furstenberg teach two classes via video, showing the delegates various techniques using watercolours and acrylic paints, as well as Sam and Sheena teaching classes in person, I did two layouts that was self-paced class that the delegates could complete over the weekend.

So here goes, we set up and eagerly waited for our delegates to arrive.

As a welcome gift Sam had hand finished aprons for each delegate, we chosen aprons as a gift as we knew we would be using paints with Wilna classes, and they were gratefully received.


Once the delegates had arrived and settled into there places, the lovely Hey Little Magpie shop opened for business, and as true scrappers it wasn’t long before we where in there, seeing what we needed, like true Scrappers we need it all – lol.

The format for this weekend was to have as relaxed as possible craft retreat but at the same time having some fun.

So after we had our evening meal it was back to the crop room for a party game.  Which involving rolling a dice, dressing up, inflating a palm tree and putting up a deckchair – which was so funny.

With the lovely Jooles was our winner.

After the game the delegates had an evening to themselves, and to get ready for  the following day where we had planned 3 classes, including one video from Wilna.

The delegates all got struck into the classes – which we will share in another blog post,

and I just had to take a selfie, which was photobombed by Penelope – lol x.


We also had my son, James helping out, and he was made-up that Starbucks was on site and he could nip down for one or two during the weekend – lol.


And to finish off Saturday, we had the lovely Elaine attend from Stix2 to demonstrate their products with two lovely make & take gifts.

Sunday followed the same format, after breakfast we had 3 more classes, raffle prize draws, challenge winners and of course a photographs of us all in our aprons, and like I said the weekend ended far too quickly, and it was time for us all to head home.

But before I sign off,  I wanted to share an extra photo of us and Wendy in our Paris Cardigans – Wendy had attended our Paige workshop in March with this lovely cardigan, and as we were going to Paris shortly afterward, Sam set herself the task to locate Paris cardigans for us – love them.

Well thats all for now, but we want to thank each delegate for attending our retreat, all the lovely feedback we received, and we are looking forward to seeing all the delegates again in the future.

Come back soon to find out more of what we are up to.

Jackie xxx

May retreat update…

Plans are well underway for the May retreat, our first Birds of a Feather retreat with our guest teacher Wilna Furstenburg and we simply cannot wait…

Like most things, not everything always runs as smoothly as we’d like!

Take for instance our group ‘jumping’ photo taken at our November workshop…

It took a few attempts to get a photo of us all in the air at the same time!

“One, two, three jump” was said on more than one occasion!

It’s fabulous to look at photos such as these and recall the wonderful memories that they evoke.

And whilst we are responsible for everything that we are in control of, albeit jumping in unison, we have been forced to make a major decision and change venues for our May 2017 retreat.

The Bromsgrove Hotel and Spa has double booked the room we had reserved and whilst they have offered us an alternative room, we simply didn’t feel it was up to the standard that we want for our fellow birdies!

The new venue is The Village Hotel, Tempus Drive, Walsall. WS2 8TJ which is located at junction 10 of the M6 and is the same venue that we are using for our Paige workshop in March.

They say that things happen for a reason and in all honesty, we actually feel that the Bromsgrove hotel has done us a favour as we are much, much happier with The Village Hotel! It is a much more modern venue and so much more convenient to get to!

For those coffee lovers who need their daily fixes, you can even treat yourself to a Starbucks as there is one located in the foyer of the hotel!

So onwards and upwards and to making many, many more memories…

Paige Taylor Evans workshop – March 2017

We are pleased to announce that Paige Taylor Evans will be making a return visit to the UK, to teach four amazing classes with her new collection, due to be released at CHA January 2017.  Each layout will be designed exclusively by Paige in her unique style, using her 3rd collection for Pink Paislee.

Be one of the first to use her lovely new collection at our 2nd Paige Day.

Full details of this fabulous event can be found on the downloadable forms below.

Location:  The Village Hotel, Tempus Drive, Walsall.  WS2 8TJ

Date:  Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th March 2017

Download Booking Form: Word PDF Schedule T&C 


Re-discovering FIMO

Do you ever find that if you re-visit a product you once tried years ago, you somehow discover a new use for it? Or that the product, which seemed to be aimed at children is suddenly so much more ‘grown-up’? FIMO from Staedtler has suddenly become one of my guilty pleasures!

Sheena and I were asked to teach Christmas scrapbooking classes at our local crop – we decided to use the gorgeous Sweet Peppermint collection from Prima.

The kit, which included four 12 x 12″ papers, a 6 x 6″ paper pad, gems and a stunning collection of die-cut chipboard totally sums up the fun of today whilst reminiscing of a bygone era of Christmas past!


Whilst the chipboard did include some lovely ‘other’ embellishments including a gingerbread house silver charm, bottled Christmas tree and an enormous amount of minty green sequins, it still seemed to lack those chunkier embellishments that we all love!

I can’t deny that Prima doesn’t have a wonderful selection of flowers to co-ordinate with this kit, but neither Sheena or I really felt that they epitomised Christmas in any shape or form…

So I decided ‘candy canes’ were the order of the day – and what better material to make them in than FIMO, which co-incidentally is celebrating 50 years this year!


Everyone had great fun re-living their creative childhood, playing with a plasticine like material, manipulating and modelling the FIMO material until it was supple enough to shape and create 8cm long ‘candy canes’.

Like me, so many ladies taking the class remember FIMO, but equally have never considered using it to make some feature embellishments for their layouts…

Better still, the FIMO modelling clay goes such a long way – many ladies didn’t just make the three candy canes required for their two layouts! Their creativity started flowing and we had wreathes and even a snowman head, complete with cute pink face!

From what I overheard, there were quite a few ladies paying the likes of Hobbycraft or their local art store a visit to purchase other colours and have a play at home…

So to those ladies and to Staedtler it goes without saying a big ‘thank you’.

And even better, why not share your layouts featuring FIMO embellishments – I know Staedtler and Birds of a Feather would love to see your creations.

How time flies…

Where does time go? In terms of ‘birdy’ talk it flies… And literally.

I cannot believe that two weeks ago today we were starting the first of two amazing workshops with Paige Taylor Evans!

Now we are in the throes of both planning our first retreat in May 2017 at the Bromsgrove Hotel & Spa and a possible workshop in early March, again with Paige

I think this photo sums up why we do what we do!


All the hard work pays of when we think back to that magical day!

One other guy who I mustn’t forget to mention is James, our honorary Bird of a Feather! His help to make both days a success was invaluable – thank you James xxx


And equally, without Paige, the whole event wouldn’t have been possible – so thank you Paige too xxx


Making memories is what these events are all about, not just crafting or scrapping!

Check out some of the wonderful comments that we received after the weekend.

One that really stood out for me was from Madie Ager-Warner…     “Almost home! I echo the same sentiments as everyone else, a lovely day spent with fabulous people! To quote Sam ‘to friendship’. Really looking forward to the event in May. Much love, have a good week everyone. x

I’m not at the stage yet where I know ‘how many sleeps’ it is, but you can bet it won’t be long before I do!

So on that note, I’m off to craft… Enjoy your weekend xxx


It’s the little things…

It’s the little things that make the effort seem absolutely worthwhile!

From the bottom of our hearts, Sheena, Jackie and I would like to thank each and everyone of of you who supported us at our first ever Birds of a Feather event…

We had a blast and from the comments we’ve seen it appears that you all did too!

One little thing that really did sets our ‘hearts a flutter’ was a postcard that we each received…


How cute is that sentiment on the front?


And even sweeter is the message on the reverse!

So all those late nights plotting and planning, not to mention sewing 86 needlework cases, it has been a delight and our pleasure to organise this event with many more to follow…

And on that note, I’m off to make my fellow birdies – Jackie and Sheena their own Birds of a Feather sewing kits, after all I think they deserve one, don’t you?