Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Lonely this Christmas?

I don't think so!

The Jingle Belles theme this week is "Lonely This Christmas (aka Tagging Along)" . This means that we should make a card, and then so that it isn't lonely, make a matching item of some sort that can then be linked up with The Order of the Opus Gluei who have teamed up with Jingle Belles for this crossover event.

All good stuff.

Delving into some very precious and very vintage BasicGrey (ah Blitzen, my favourite of favourites!) I decided to use my Cricut to cut out a card and matching envelope. I lavished some gorgeous red ribbon all over it and now I have an adorable set ready to be hand delivered to someone very special.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Inspired by... flags

It's always interesting working for The Scrapbook Magazine as we often get given assignments with directions that really get your brain working. Sometimes, I get the email and at first my brain is completely blank! It's great to track how it goes from blank to done and how I love whatever is the outcome.

An assignment last year that I haven't yet shared, was exactly such a brain teaser but it proved to be one of my favourites of recent months.

Two layouts were requested using the colours of flags: Germany (gold, red and black) and India (blue, green orange and white) to be precise. Added to that, I needed to use the topic of "heroes" and to incorporate paper punches.

Wow, quite a list.

Once I'd got my head around the colours and decided which paper lines I was going to use, it actually came together pretty quickly. Actually, I have to be fair here and let you know that a lot of subject ideas for magazine layouts come from Libby. I like to bounce ideas off her and she often sends me in a direction I hadn't been planning and when I told her I needed to do a layout about heroes she assumed that I'd include Jacob. I had been toying with the idea but thought it might be too geeky. She gave me permission be exactly that and this is the outcome.

I used American Crafts Abode which I thought had some really great reds and yellows, and turned the primary colours of the German into some serious Jacob love.  (And yes, I know it's a bit sad at my age!)

When I showed it to my little brother who was with us at the time, he told me it was the saddest, lamest thing he'd ever seen. I knew then it was perfect! Who needs validation from a 17-year-old anyway?

And when I looked at the colours of the Indian flag, I realised they were often considered to be bright, summery colours and the Bella Blv All Inclusive range proved perfect.

These layouts just go to show that there really is something inspiring in everything around us. Neither of these colour schemes are be ones I'd usually be drawn to but they were so easy to put together once I had found a way to interpret the blend of colours and shades.

What colour schemes have you used recently that were unusual for you?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

From smiles to lobsters??

On Monday I mentioned that I had had quite a lot of time on my hands last week which I used for some serious kit bashing.

My June Counterfeit Kit Challenge, All A Flutter has proved easy to use and surprisingly versatile.I love it!

So making the most of my time and looking around for inspiration, I turned once again to the calendar to see what thoughts it could generate. Have you tried this yet? I added the fun widget to my blog there on the right if you want to have a look. There are literally dozens and dozens of ideas on there just waiting to be discovered. from quirky days to celebrate to famous birthdays - a bit of lateral thinking and it's amazing what you can come up with. Why not give it a try!

Anyway, coming back to the main point of this long and somewhat rambling post, the thing is that on June 15th I saw that it was not only "Smile Power Day" but also "National Lobster Day". Surely a gift for someone thinking out of the box a bit!

First off, I thought of Cameron's beautiful smile, which is featured in so many of the older photos I have of him that I'm trying to use up. And this layout shows how great this kit is - what looked at first glance to be a really summery, feminine kit was so easy to use for this boy layout. OK, so I included a flower but with the less feminine colours, I thought I could get away with it! I added in the grey letters to the kit and found a little corner for three brads. A simple message to Cam to remind him that his smile is very powerful and I'm satisfied with the result.

Next up was "Lobster Day". It immediately reminded me of our wonderful holiday some years ago in Nova Scotia and all the lobster we ate. Every. Single. Day. 

Here in Europe, lobster is something rather extravagant, terribly expensive and only to be eaten in the finest restaurants on very special occasions. 

But over there in NS? Just your average everyday snack. It was funny to go into a small diner-style cafe and have a lobster burger for less than a Big Mac would cost you over here! Funny but wonderful.

I made a huge album for this holiday when we first came back, and in the early days of my scrapping, so it was nice to revisit this time and make a new layout with my new style and focussing on just this tiny aspect of our trip.

For this layout, I grabbed a piece of cardstock, added in the letters from Crate Paper's Emma's Shoppe and used a whole load of brads - so many in fact that I fished out more and more from my little pot so that I could add a few here and there - but everything else was in the kit. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't put the kit together myself!

So, that makes 4 layouts and 33 brads in total, although my brad bowl is still overflowing. Mmmm... anyone got any ideas for how to use them all up?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Spring is officially over

Midsummer's Day or the first day of summer or Summer Solstice depending on how you look at it, has come and gone, and can you believe that we are almost at the end of June?

Back in March, I saw a post on S's blog (Snaps and Snippets) where she had decided to join a reading challenge she'd found on the Callapidder Days blog 

... and, ever the copy cat, I promptly decided to join in.

I love reading - with a passion when the time is right - but as I've got older, I read less and less. At my peak,in my early teens I'd read a book a day and worked my way through the teenage section at the library and the school library, before starting on my parents' bookshelves. I devoured everything I could get my hands on!

Then came the time in the past when I was also a bit of a book collector, buying more and more but never actually reading them, which means I have LOADS on my bookshelves that have never been read. The reading challenge seemed a great opportunity to attack a few of them.

So I duly selected 7 books and posted this blog post (here) for my reasons why.

Well, Midsummer's Day was the end of the challenge and to finish off, here is my round-up post.

I haven't been totally successful, completing only 2 with another 3 partially finished. Two are untouched, but not forgotten. However, I really think that this is much more than I would've managed without the challenge.

Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

As you can see, this is a well-loved edition of the book. It's falling apart but that's all part of it's charm. There appears to be a new edition available at Amazon to celebrate its 75 year anniversary.

First on my list and an obvious starting point as I'd just completed a layout about my love for Rhett which had reminded me I needed to go back to this, my most favourite book, again after an absence of many years.

It was every bit as wonderful as I'd remembered. I couldn't put it down and savoured every one of the 799 pages. Of course, I picture the actors from the film as the characters, but for me that's ok - part of the attraction maybe. There's quite a few differences in the book to the film and a whole lot more detail on the Civil War which I tried to pay more attention to this time around.

I often read too fast, especially when I love the book as I do this one, so I deliberately tried to slow myself down a bit and that helped me with all those details.

This epic love story has lost none of its power over me through the years and it remains my favourite book of all time - go read it!

The Heart of the Antarctic - Ernest Shackleton

I tried to track this down on Amazon but couldn't find it - only the second book he wrote. But if you can find it, it's worth the read.

In case you don't know, Ernest Shackleton was an Antarctic explorer, originally from Ireland but carrying out expeditions in the name of the King Edward VII (and later King George V) of England in the early 20th century.

This book covers his attempt to reach the South Pole between 1907 and 1909 and was the first of two books he wrote about his travels. He'd travelled to the Antarctic with Scott in 1901-4 and was happy to lead his own expedition to conquer the South Pole on the whaling boat Nimrod. He and three others walked 1,755 miles across the ice to within 97 miles of the Pole (88'23"S) only to have to turn around and head back to camp in order to save all their lives (which he did).

FASCINATING stuff! I loved it and the fact that it was written by Shackleton himself made it much more interesting than if it was a current novel using their diaries and records.

If you are at all interested in historical non-fiction, this era is worth looking at. When you read about the hardships these men endured in the name of King and country, it makes you think about your comfy bed in a totally different way!

I've made it through to page 124 but it's gripping and I can't wait to finish it!

Yes, another Shackleton book. This was his third expedition from 1914 to 1916 where he'd hoped to be able to cross the continent on foot, the South Pole having been reached by Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, back in 1911. The Endurance exploration was considered at the time to be the final unclaimed prize and after two failed visits south, Shackleton was determined to win this accolade.

However, the Endurance got stuck and then destroyed in the pack ice and the crew were left stranded for 22 months until their ultimate rescue. Every member of the crew survived thanks to Shackleton's leadership and his reputation is considered by some to be more heroic and worthy than Scott who was beaten to the pole at the last minute by Amundsen and who died, along with his crew, on the return to camp. Over the years, Shackelton's leadership and the incredible stories around his explorations have become legendary.

Another wonderful part of this book is the stunning photography by Australian, Frank Hurley who managed to hold onto the negatives throughout this ordeal and even captured some of the most incredible photographs with a pocket camera and a single roll of film. Makes me feel guilty taking all those digital photos today, none of which compare to any of the incredible photos in this book!

This is a book I'd scanned as part of my MBA research and was full of notes, underlines, bookmarks and comments which were almost as interesting to read (being nearly 12 years old) as the book itself.

I got to page 103 within the time of the challenge and I love it. I read with a pencil in hand and made sure that I really thought about what I was reading and what I considered about the viewpoints put forward. I found a few new words for my personal dictionary along the way: froward, recusant, exegesis (does anyone out there know what they mean? I had to look them all up!) and really enjoyed the process of working while reading.

One writer, (G Thomas Tanselle), was talking about the shelves of books from his childhood home and the impact they had had on him,

"What role all these books, arrayed prominently, indeed unavoidably, on both floors of the house, had on my life is not easy to say, but I am convinced it was important, even fundamental." 

This got me thinking about how I used to scour our shelves at home and as an early teen, I read Aldous Huxley, Tolkein, Thomas Hardy, H E Bates, Margaret Mitchell and quite a lot of non-fiction. A lot of these were not exactly books "suitable" for my age but I loved them all. I may not have understood all I read, but it certainly instilled a love of books into me at that age which still sits with me today. I think that bookshelves demand attention, wherever they are. You cannot ignore them if you are a reader and you'll automatically find yourself straining to see what's there on the shelf and what that says about the people who read them. Interesting stuff!

The book had me:
  • nodding in agreement ("... Readers can be quiet and enjoy themselves in solitude; readers have lively minds...." Ann Thwaite); 
  • frowning with worry ("... to a book lover there is something slightly disquieting today about the way in which television has ingested not only the literary classics {.....} but the whole spectrum of reading matter..." John Bayley); 
  • smiling in amusement, ("... books, at least as company, are really superior to friends. One need engage in no small talk with a book {...} no sense of obligation exists. We are with them only because we absolutely wish to be with them..." Joseph Einstein); 
  • and generally got the grey matter working, ("... loney children {...} read books..." Joseph Einstein) Was that me as a child? 

I found that many of the original notations I'd made were still relevant but with the time I could devote to it this time around, there are a lot more underlines and comments. I felt I was having a conversation with most of the writers. There was definitely an exchange of views. Looking forward to finishing it.

An excellent collection of very varied views about this topic - highly recommended!

The Romance of the Book - Edited by Marshall Brooks

I've also speed read/scanned this book before as part of my MBA dissertation and I know that I have read several of the edited essays in this book during this challenge. Maybe even 40% of the book. However, it's very peculiar but I've just flipped through the book and I can't find where I read up to and  I can't recognise any of the essays I must've read in the last couple of month. So I obviously need to go back to the beginning and try again!

It's a book containing a collection of excerpts from books and specifically written essays relating to books, reading and literature. From zealous readers to passionate book collectors, from Collette, Pepys and Poe - everything is covered. I know this is interesting but I must've done something wrong in my reading. I'll return it to the pile of unread books and try again!

All in all, a very interesting challenge that got my brain working again and helped me to realise that I really need to devote more time to this activity that I enjoy so much.

I'll be tagging along on S's new summer reading challenge in the hope of finishing off the books I started and adding a couple more to the list to be read. I'll keep you informed.

What have you been reading recently?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bundling up the layers

The Jingle Belles' challenge this week has been created by Candy Blake (over at Stampin With Candy) after winning a guest design spot back in May.

I was fascinated to find out that she lives over in Newfoundland (on my list of places to visit one day!) and maybe this is the reason she gave us all the challenge of "All Bundled Up!" or layering at least three layers on our cards.

More difficult than I originally thought....

I started off rummaging through my scraps to find that I am getting down to really small ones now (any ideas for using these up?). I had an idea in my head and saw some stickers that needed using up, coming up with this...

... which I was rather unimpressed with.

So I tried again!

I found a sketch I really liked over at Card Positioning Systems and decided to stick to it pretty faithfully (just for a change!).

Sketch courtesy of CPS Card Sketches

I ended up with something I really like and used up some more older papers in the process which made me feel great. I matted all the patterned paper shapes and raised the top two with some twine making it most certainly more than three layers. 

We are now past the halfway point for this weekly card challenge (well, I can't imagine I'll be up for making cards right up to the middle of December and this was #25)  and I have more than 30 cards. What a great Wednesday feeling!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Inspired by... advertising

Happy Monday everyone!

It's a short week for me (Thursday is a Bank Holiday here in NRW) which makes the week even better.

I have to admit to not being a Monday person. I don't get this whole, "Monday's my favourite day of the week as it's a new start...." For me, it's just the beginning of what feels like a looooong time until the next weekend! Yes, I know, I'm working on the positive thinking thing... it takes time :-)

However, last week I had a lot of free time in the evenings and nothing on the TV to tempt me out of the room (it's summer - repeats and family stuff only), so I used my time creatively.

My June Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit, All A Flutter, has proved great and I've already created four layouts from it. To help us during the month, the Counterfeit team post mini-challenges for us along the way as well as tutorials and all sorts of inspiration (you really should check out the site if you haven't already - it's proving such a great resource) and the first mini-challenge was to use advertising for inspiration.

I've done this before and it's really a great place to find all sorts of ideas. Some of the design team went for the design itself, the wording, the colours, the feel of the ad and so on. I had a bit of a problem in that I don't buy or subscribe to any mags at the moment apart from CK and The Scrapbook Magazine and was finding it difficult to find something that jumped out at me. Then I found some old publications that need throwing out from literally years ago and flipped through to find this rather serious banking ad:

It may be a bit on the boring side but I liked the title off to the right and the full width photo so off I went and pulled out some photos of Maddie for this layout:

I have hundreds and hundreds of photos of my adorable nieces and nephew and sometimes I need to look beyond the photo itself to find a reason to scrap them. I could've made this into a "Maddie on her big girl bike page" and in fact, I have more like this so that might still come, but I love the fact that Maddie really is a *pick herself up* kind of girl and so this take on the pictures came to mind.

Everything came from my kit and I even found place for 15 (!) brads which can only be a good thing.

Thanks to visiting this yesterday evening...

... I wish you a song filled Monday. 

I woke up with "Take Me To The Pilot, which is a very old Elton track, going round my head. But pick your favourite today and see how it makes you smile! 

(Go on, he may be a bit on the uncool side, but I bet there's one track out there that you like!)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Delving into old products that seem suddenly new

No sooner was my June Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit, *All A Flutter*, put into its kit box than it was pulled out again and created with. It was instantly inspiring me to get cutting. Got to love that.

That's one of the things I adore about this challenge. Your old(er) products seem to get a new lease of life once they are brought together for one of these kits.

This month, none of my products are so terribly old, but there are a few things in there that would be good to see used up rather than lounging around my room taking up space.

My goal again this month is to find a way to use up some of the millions of brads I have. I also want to use at least all the flowers I have pulled into the kit, if not some more. I have so many of these pretty paper flowers (and dozens more of the larger fabric flowers) that are just a little bit out of date these days. I need to incorporate some onto pretty pages rather than only ever thinking about the latest and greatest Prima beauties.

Anyway, using a Page Maps sketch as a starting point, I got straight down to it and created a simple page with a simple message.

Three brads and one of the flowers have found a new home - tick!

I'm learning to see the silver lining, but it's not natural for me... yet!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Oh Christmas Sketch, Oh Christmas Sketch!

Over at Jingle Belles, the puns on song titles are getting funnier and funnier and this week's challenge is based on a sketch - just in case you hadn't realised!

I love working to sketches, especially on cards, as it means that someone else has done all the hard work and all I have to do is place my elements in the right places! Lazy I know. But I am still learning a lot about cards so a week like this is always welcome.

This week's sketch was drawn by Kirsty Vittetoe from the City Crafter Challenge BlogHandmade Little Things and Pixie Dust Paperie - all gorgeous stuff - so I was very excited to use it.

I am still wading through my box of Christmas paper scraps and try to turn to these first before I cut into any full sheet of paper. Somehow, the box doesn't seem to be getting any less full! And as for the embellishments - also from my box of unloved bits and pieces - I swear it gets fuller rather than the other way around. It feels a bit like Mary Poppins carpet bag. (Think I might be showing my age there - I think Hermione's bag in HP might be the more up-to-date version of this!)

Anyway, the great sketch really helped and a few more scraps and bits have found a happy home.

As for the new look photo, I have to say that I was inspired by Sian who recently had a poll on her blog about the preferred look for blog photos of projects which got me thinking that most of the time, my piccies here are pretty poor. So I am going to try a bit of experimenting with different set-ups and staging and see if I like it. What do you think?

** Thanks Sian for the inspiration. I love the photos on your blog and want to step up to the mark a bit more.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

June Counterfeit Kit Challenge

LOAD rather takes over when it's running so I didn't get around to creating a May Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit last month and was therefore, all the more ready to get going with it this month.

OK, so it's taken me a few days to actually sit down and put it together, but it's done and I'm hoping it will get me going again after a slow few days at the beginning of the month.

This month's kit has been inspired by the super cute and super pretty June kit over at Burlap and Buttercups (June kit here).

I was thrilled to see such pretty summery colours and patterns and was convinced that I could make something really gorgeous along those lines with products I already had.

And then something odd happened.

I suddenly got all worked up that I wanted to use the same papers as the kit - I had some Stella and Rose after all (in fact, I had the die cut sheet that is included in the kit). And I loved them.  And it would be great to put them into this kit. Oh, and while I was at it, it was a good excuse to go and get more and the BG Hello Luscious too. And then I did. I actually went out and bought the Hello Luscious range and more Stella and Rose so that I could match almost all the papers in the kit.

I lost track of the reason I do this challenge! To use up existing stash that has been sitting for more or less time, unloved and unused.

When I got home and looked at the kit again, and then at the papers I had bought, I decided to *get a grip* and continue making up my version of the kit using stuff I had had before.

The other papers will be used up anyway - I adore them after all! I don't regret buying them (they were all on my shopping list anyway) but I challenged myself to continue in the intended way.

The kit I have made up is much more like the *feeling* of the kit.

Here are the papers I have put together and include many partly used sheets. In fact, all the pp on the right hand side are papers that were originally in a kit from last year that I have been using recently. They are all cut into but seemed to fit the mood I was looking for so in they went.

Then I put together my, larger than the original, embellishment selection. I went with the overall ideas they had in the originals (pins, brads, ribbon, chipboard, butterflies) but just picked and selected until I had a nice big pile!

I took inspiration from Margie (one of the Counterfeit forgers) who made up her own flowers and vellum butterflies. I gathered a few felt and paper flowers and stacked them together with buttons, even adding some stitching to one of them, and then punched out some butterflies from some standard white vellum I had. I layered up three at a time, only gluing the centre strip and adding a few pearls.

I also added in a lot of left over pieces from the kit I mentioned above - that kit is now finished and all the leftovers have found a home in this new kit - cool huh?

A few alphabets, some tags and some twine add to the bits and pieces that I like to use when I create!

Should I name this kit? I was thinking about "All A Flutter" due to the large number of butterflies I've included. What do you think?

Monday, 13 June 2011

A very much appreciated crop

A last minute trip back to the UK for the weekend just happened to coincide with the Bromsgrove crop - totally unplanned but totally appreciated :-)

I've commented before that I'm a lone scrapper - my blog or LOAD being the only sort of scrapbooking with others that I participate in - so when I get the chance to go along and be with others, it's a lot of fun to do things in a different way.

I caught up with the wonderful Bromsgrove crowd as well as long time school friend, Sarah (who brought along a gazillion kilos of Cadbury's for me as a *little* present!) and of course, card maker extraordinaire, Deb.

I had a wonderful, if not terribly productive day. I chatted a lot and looked over people's shoulders to see what gorgeous stuff they were working on. It's always so inspiring to see how others create and what styles they have developed since I last saw them.

Thankfully, Deb has recently started to bring along challenges to the crop and without those, I would probably not have made anything at all (although I would still have been happy to be there!)

First off, I participated in her, now regular, card class. Such a lovely card. Such lovely colours. Such great stamps. Such a great teacher - I must have asked a hundred questions about techniques etc and Deb is just about as patient as can be.

Here's my sweet card.

Unfortunately, I messed up the sentiment a little bit - not really central and a line of ink that shouldn't be there. But the card itself is so lovely that I don't think the recipient will notice! Thanks Deb for a card I'm really proud of.

Next up came a sketch from Sketchy Thursdays (sketch 6.02). I liked the layers and the strip journalling and felt it was quite *me*.

I broke into my glorious Curio collection (BasicGrey of course) and layered up papers and embellishments for this Hipstamatic photo layout. However, the title is totally lame and I need to find a new one and redo it ("Turm" means "tower" in German as I didn't have the right letters).

I also think I need to redo the journalling as again, it's also a bit lame and I made several handwriting mistakes!

Next challenge was to make up a card from the scraps of the first layout and base it on a Cardabilities sketch.

Cards are still proving challenging for me but I am determined to keep going because I have become too stingy to pay out so much money for second rate shop bought cards when I have everything I need to make them right here in my room. Sketches really help me with this as they tend to be simple but help me find the right location for items on this small scale.

I spent ages borrowing Deb's TH rosette dies to make a whole load of flowers - neeeed that die!

And then lastly, there was a scraplift challenge using this great design by Theresa (one of the founders of Scrapbooker's Anonymous).

Her design featuring multiple strips below the photo was one that was instantly appealing and I decided to just tear and ink some October Afternoon papers to produce this simple take on her design.

Two layouts and two cards plus a whole load of chatty fun. All adds up to one great day!

Thanks again to everyone - you never fail to make me feel welcome even though I only manage to go along once a year or so! And thanks to Libby for letting me raid her precious Thickers as well as other stash to supplement my single bag that I brought along.

Oh yes, and I won not one but two raffle prizes! It was obviously my lucky day.

Hope to see you all again soon...

Friday, 10 June 2011

LOAD round up

Another LOAD has come to an end and it's (mostly) back to normal again :-).

I travelled back to the UK straight away (more about that in another post) and then directly back to work so getting back into the rhythm of blogging, scrapping and fitting in a bit of housework here and there has proved a bit more of a problem than usual. Hibernation has followed... but those who know me, expect that!

But just to finish off, here are the last three layouts of the month...

May 29th

Today's prompt was just to scrap something about why we scrap.

I was definitely running out of steam at this point and wanted to make something simple and pretty. I have done several pages about why I scrap and decided to just focus on one aspect.

Picking out some gorgeous Maddie and Isabella photos, some Emma's Shoppe that Libby had bought me as a surprise pressie ;-) and some Prima that I had been finding difficult to use, I created something easy that made me happy. I added a Reason # thinking that it might be fun to make some sort of series and as it happens, that is exactly what came about on the next day too.

May 30th

Today's prompt was just to follow your heart - just do your thing.

No problem for me. I mostly only ever do my own thing and follow my heart when I am scrapping. But to be given such a free prompt was lovely. I wanted to break into my oh, so precious For The Record (EP) papers that have sat untouched since I just HAD to have them as soon as they came out.

However, there was a second prompt that I decided to follow too here as my lovely, adorable LOADster friend, Whimsical Nature challenged us all to scrap a page about ourselves. She had created a wonderful page that created a storm of wonderful comments approval and comments and she decided that we should all follow her lead. Also no problem for me. I scrap about me a lot but it's always great to be given the push to put yourself centre stage. I took inspiration from her journalling and used it as my title.

It felt great to use that paper. And it was nice to make something a bit simpler than others this month.

And yes, this became #6 in my newly created series of why I scrapbook. I love it when a plan comes together.

May 31st

Create a page about the beginning or the end of something.

It has become a bit of a tradition for me over the last few LOADs to make a summary page about the layouts I've made. I've talked about the pile, the community, the lessons learnt so this time a simple page just listing a few numbers seemed the right way to go.

(Can you tell which letters I'm running out of from my favourite AC alphas??? I'm trying to get creative for creating letters out of others!)

Just for the record, during May I made 33 layouts (LOAD plus one for a magazine and one as a present), one of which was a double spread. I used 69 photos - 18 of which were on single photo layouts.

I have just realised that the journalling on this last layout is a little bit off with regard to the number of photos I used on my LOAD layouts, but I'm not going to change it now!

There won't be an official LOAD now until next February for one reason or another, but I will be trying to do one on my own later in the year and I think my fellow LOADsters are talking about creating an informal one too so watch this space for mega-productivity.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Let It Sew!

Wednesday again? Oh my! Where does the time go?

I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently as I was away for the weekend and back to the reality of work so watch this space for catch up posts over the next week or so.

But in the meantime, this week's Jingle Belles' challenge is "Let It Sew, Let It Sew, Let It Sew!"

It freaked me out a bit as even though I used to be a serious sewer (as in wedding dresses and evening gowns!) but these days, not so much. I don't even have a working sewing machine (one of which is definitely on my shopping list for the future so that I can sew on my layouts!) so this week's challenge was a bit of an "eek" moment.

In the end, I kept it simple (for a change!) and fished out a sewing template that is seriously underused and got busy.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Making a page one bite at a time

A fellow LOADster friend, Kim Byrns recently contacted me and flatteringly asked if she could use a layout of mine as the featured layout for "Bite-sized Scrapbooking" which she has set up to help scrapbookers get pages done at a steady, doable pace.

Bite-sized Scrapbooking is all about

"the old adage, "How do you eat an elephant?" One bite at a time, of course!

Scrapbooking can seem like the proverbial elephant. You have so many photos, products, tools, ideas, and sources of inspiration. Where do you start? What should you use? What do you want to work on, right now? It can be a bit overwhelming—especially when you don't have a lot of time to spend on scrapbooking. And perhaps when you finally have a few minutes to scrap, you find yourself spinning your wheels and not accomplishing very much. Sound familiar?"

Kim sends out emails during with week with single steps to take which will build up to make one layout a week based on a sketch and inspiration page. So, for example, the first email would tell you how many photos you need for your layout and the story, second email would prompt you about the tools and supplies you need and so on. You are only concentrating on these single decisions which prevents you from feeling overwhelmed with all those choices!

Sounds like a wonderful, enabling concept and I am delighted to have been chosen as the inspiration this week with a layout I created last year:

If you'd like to find out more about Kim's innovative concept, the site can be found here (Bite-sized Scrapbooking), on Twitter (@kkbyrnsand Facebook (@bitesizedscrapbooking), and their gallery is hosted over at Flickr (bitesizedscrapbooking).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...