Sunday 31 July 2011

25 Before 25...Update!

Just after my 24th birthday, I made a list. 25 things I wanted to accomplish before I'm 25. I love lists. There are all sorts of reasons and delights that are encompassed in the love I have for lists, but one of the top ones is that satisfied feeling of crossing something off. A job well done, if you will.

So first of all, I made a page about the experience....

And this is the updated list....


5) Have a London scrappy event.
6) Go to the globe.
13) *Secret*
16) Find a place to get chipotle chillies and cook with them.
18) Go camping.
19) Put together my Guiding camp blanket.
20) Finish my unfinished knitted jumper!
24) Branch out and try a new mac and cheese recipe.

Work in progress:

1) Take every opportunity to travel.
4) Improve my Spanish.
12) *Secret*
7) Write down my school-year anecdotes.
15) *Secret*
23) *Secret*

Things yet to achieve:

2) Learn to crochet granny squares.
3) Take a photography course.
8) Frame and display a mosaic of photos on my wall.
9) Go for a really posh afternoon tea.
10) Make a brightly coloured layer cake.
11) Organise my photos.
14) Get all my pages into albums properly!
17) Make a crazy union flag skirt for the last night of the proms.
21) Get to grips with the sewing machine.
22) See the Nutcracker at Christmas.
25) Go on a patchwork workshop.

I think this is pretty good going for four months in :D

Kisses xxx

P.S. I realised that when I wrote the original list, I included "Organise my photos" twice. Clearly this desperately needs to be done :D So I changed one of them to learning how to patchwork. Mum, I'm going to need your help on this one!

P.S. I'm using this page as a project for Shimelle's class 'Explore'. It's nice to document these things and even nicer when you have October Afternoon vintage map paper to play with.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Traditionally BBQ-ing in the rain.

So, at Maja's birthday party, which is in the summer, we barbecued. It's what you do if you're British and therefore in possession of an endearingly misguided belief that the weather might hold. It rained. Clearly. Actually, it didn't do much, but the token gesture enabled me to make this page.

"The weather just about held for Maja's birthday BBQ which is not very in keeping with the expected traditional downpour. A little spattering is a mere trifle. And Connie proved to one and all that you do not need a man to BBQ, even though Maja foolishly requested manly assistance. Win! (Unfortunately when Connie volunteered to be the many assistance, Robert assumed she was bringing Tim. Error.)"

I went with some wonderful Sassafras for this page. I recently ordered LOADS of their Starters line from 2peas and I LOVE it. It's subtle enough to be background, decorated enough to count, texty enough to be cool.... What's not to LOVE? I also picked up what I could of the Sunshine Broadcast line and some of the Sweetly Smitten but lots was sold out. Sad face.

Anyway, since I was breaking out the Sassafras love, I thought I'd take up the challenge of scrapping a summer tradition. So consider it done!

Kisses xxx

P.S. Hit the National Gallery for Renaissance Alter pieces, St Martin-in-the-Fields Crypt for a cuppa, the National Gallery cafe for another cuppa, Soho for a wander around and Chinatown for dinner. There's nothing like a good London day with friends - and now I can have a whole summer of them:D

P.P.S. Look!!! Fisheye!!!! Let's just say it's a little treat for the summer. I took so many pictures around London with it today, the city won't know what's hit it. But I can fit so much of the capital in at once. Plus, it's impossible to miss with a self portrait....

P.P.P.S. Expect to read MUCH more about my lovely Fisheye lens next week. This week, off to France on a school trip. Back soon :D

Friday 22 July 2011

Going Postal: Postcards from Guide Camp (3)

The bottom of this pair of postcards is the last one in the series of Postcards from Guide Camp. Although I may make others in the future as I took hundreds of photos. I wanted to mention this particular Guiding routine: getting the welly sticks up. The Guides found it quite tricky to get their tents up. They were lightweight and roomy but you need quite a lot of strength to get them up. So even though they couldn't manage that, they could hammer two sticks each into the ground outside the front door. Voila! Prop your wellies upside down on them and you can grab them first thing in the morning when you're wading through the dewey grass in search of breakfast.

After checking inside for spiders.

If you want to check out some of the others in close up, you can see Part 1 and Part 2. But here's the full set!

You can check out Julie Kirk's lovely blog Notes on Paper for more Post-themed projects and inspiration. I just love this as a topic, and would totally recommend the Going Postal series. There's something so scrapbookey and vintagey and romantic about the post!

Kisses xxx

P.S. School's out! Bring on the adventures!

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Going Postal: Postcards from Guide Camp (2)

Another couple of memories-on-a-postcard in my collection of Postcards from Guide Camp. The top one describes how we made s'mores...

"For Guides: 2 digestive biscuits, 3 marshmallows, 5 chocolate buttons. Leader special: 3 digestive biscuits, marshmallows and chocolate: unlimited. Leave in campfire embers wrapped in foil until gooey".

The second is about my favourite time at the dark. For Guides, that means running around in the woods with torches, shrieking as people jump out at you and looking for the reflective silver stars we hid earlier. It means huddling around a campfire in camp blankets, singing silly songs, toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. Perfect.

(It also means explaining that there really aren't any flying red ants and that the reason the moths are fluttering against the tent is because they won't turn off their torches...but that's another story for another postcard.)

I stuck more to the traditional postcard form here, highlighting key works in mini alphas. That October Afternoon Rocket Age paper was perfect! And it was a fun picture to take, using the bulb setting on my camera while the Guides waved their torches. When I projected this photo on a screen at Guides last week, it was quite surreal to hear the girls squeal, "Oooh, that's me!". Some of the other girls were a bit non-plussed...

Kisses xxx

P.S. Off to see Harry Potter tonight. Fabcakes! Have stocked up on Lime Flavour Dorritos especially.

P.P.S. This is another post in the Going Postal Series. Hop over to Julie Kirk's blog to see some more inspiration and visit the Pinterest Board for lots of postal themed lovlies :D

Monday 18 July 2011

Going Postal: Postcards from Guide Camp (1)

Going away on Guide Camp, even for a weekend gave me so many little snippets of stories and lovely memories and collapse-able giggles that it felt a bit overwhelming to write about it all. So I hit upon this idea. I call it Postcards from Guide Camp.

These are the first 2 of 5, although I reserve the right to add to my collection as and when I feel like it. Each one is made from one 6x4 photo with a few embellishments and then a 6x4 piece of patterned paper or cardstock which I turned into the back of the postcard. Beyond keeping the general shape of a postcard, ie, marking out a writing side, an address side, and including a postage stamp made of embellishments, I did each postcard slightly differently.

The first one explains our camp routine...

"And the weekend went pretty much like this: tents up, food, cake, run around like loons, bed, talking, giggling, get up, breakfast, fetch wood/water, second breakfast (cooked), jobs, cake, run around like loons, lunch, cake, run around in the woods, cake, jobs, dinner, cake, run around in the dark, campfire, marshmallows, bed, giggle, shriek, get up, breakfast, fetch wood/water, second breakfast (cooked), tents down, run around like loons, cake, jobs, lunch, cake, get badges, go home. So you see, the cake is necessary or the running around wouldn't happen"

The second describes a few of the camp duties the girls had to do to get their camping badge, as well as to ensure that there's enough firewood and water for everyone! In the gaps, we all mucked about, obviously.

I've got a few more postcards to share this week. I've really enjoyed making them and I will put them in divided page protectors. I'm not going to stick them back to back however: I like being able to see the back and the front at the same time. Massive design flaw with normal postcards. But mainly, I love that it's a great way to capture memories. I'll definitely be doing this again!

Kisses xxx

P.P.S. Only one more week until the summer holidays!

P.P.S. Hop over to Julie Kirk's blog Notes on Paper if you want to see some more lush post-themed projects!

Saturday 16 July 2011

A Few Scrapbooking Secrets

A couple of days ago I saw this post on Abi's blog (which is lovely and you should totally check out, by the way) about her scrapbooking secrets. So on a similar theme, I bring you a few of my scrapbooking secrets...

I find it had to use plain backgrounds. All seems good until I've finished a page and then I have a vague, undefined, it's-not-quite-finished feeling. I never think this about other people's pages so I don't know why I think it, but I prefer to steer clear. Although I am experimenting a bit with mist and paint and ink.

The same does not apply to kraft cardstock.

I LOVE ledger. I just got a 2peas order jam packed full of ledger paper. You get lines for a journalling, a little bit of background detail and often a touch of the old vintage-distressy look. The one in the background in this page is my favourite ever, by the Girls' Paperie.

Give me vintagey-off-white over white any day.

I can't do tape runners. I would love to and I marvel at Shimelle tape-runnering away at speed in her vidoes but when I use them, they work for half an inch, then the tape pings off, slides up inside the runner and sticks to the inside. The next ten minutes are spent levering the thing apart, un-gummying it, working out how the pieces are put together and getting another meagre quarter of an inch of sticky before the process begins again. So double sided tape all the way for me.

I thought the butterfly thing was weird for ages. I couldn't work out what butterflies had to do with anything. One day I changed my mind for no reason and love little butterfly accents with the Martha Stewart 3-in-one butterfly punch.

I love watching Shimelle's videos. Why is it so relaxing to watch someone else craft?

I don't do minibooks. I don't like that they won't be with the rest of my pages and there's not enough room for my journalling.

This does not apply to putting smaller pages in divided page protectors.

Even when I journal like this, I always end up having to cut down and edit my writing. Apparently I don't believe in using 1 word when 284 will suffice, and it's often very hard to squash them in the space I leave. But despite that, I love that the journalling is there and I am loathe to change my habits. Tough.

I don't have any big machines or tools. I don't really see the point, so beyond the odd notebook-edge punch, I don't buy them. (I love the notebook edge punch!)

I drink tea while I scrap constantly, but rarely notice myself drinking it and keep on doing that thing where you slurp from the cup while looking at something else only to find that, somehow, it has emptied itself. A brief ransacking of memory reveals nothing and there are never any suspiciously tea-shaped puddles in the vicinity so I must drink it. Go figure.

I've a DVD box set fiend and like to watch an episode or two of something while I craft. That could be the West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Doctor Who, Friends, House, Doctor long as I've seen it before and can keep half an eye on the characters, ensuring they all say their lines in the right order and so on. If it's new, I get too involved and can't concentrate on crafting.

As with the ledger paper, there are some scrapbooking products I would not wish to forgo. They include anything by October Afternoon, ditto Sassfras, Thickers, Walnut distress ink and sponge-on-a-stick ink thing (what are they really called?) and patterned paper. YUM.

The one product I really wish for? A perfect journalling pen. I'm still looking.

Kisses xxx

P.S. Thanks go to Abi for this idea and I highly recommend you give this kind of post a go! A little challenge for the weekend if you like...

P.P.S. Totally leave me a link if you do - I'm massively nosey about this :D

P.P.P.S. Who's doing Shimelle's new class Explore? I'm totally excited to start on Monday!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Seven Summer Scenes

...And the Birthday Girl herself! Happy Birthday Maja, hope you have a wonderful day and I had a wonderful weekend :D

Kisses xxx

P.S. Baking caramel shortbread tonight as we're having a staff cake morning (there may also be coffee and stuff too but that didn't really register). Therefore the logical thing to do is not cook tea as well but order pizza and read in the gaps.

Monday 11 July 2011

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is a fabulous cafe in Shore Ditch. They have a couple of others as well, but this is the one we visited. As we queued for a table, a sure sign of a great joint, I spied a tub of badges propped on the shabby-chic piano entwined with twinkly lights. It's that kind of place, where the ambiance seems to make your food taste even better if that were possible. Anyway, it turned out the badges were free so I snagged a few to adorn the now-inevitable scrapbook page...

"First of all, the food at the Breakfast Club is delicious. Apple and cinnamon French toast? Oh yes... But it's also some of the best people watching I've had in a while. The place was packed out with ultra-trendy, achingly cool Shore Ditch types in shabby-chic vintagey clothes. And the atmosphere of a mismatched sixties punk diner just soaks into everything. Except the French toast which is soaked in lashings of maple syrup."

If you live in London, go there. If you don't live in London, come to London and then follow step one.

I made this page for the UKScrappers Scrap Factor Contest, from which I am now, alas, knocked out. Allow we a wallowy, self-indulgent "Noooooo!!!!" and then I can move on and say that it has been brilliant fun tackling the challenges each week. The best of luck to the last three and massive thanks to everyone who voted for me. You're the best :D

And the busy continues, so here I must sign off. I have been a terrifically fickle blogger but I intend to return to it with renewed vigour (and lots to blog about) forthwith!

Kisses xxx

P.S. Just want to say that the word vintage was gratuitous when I was talking about the tent here. That's the kind of tent I camped in when I was a Guide too. And the reason we hadn't done the sides was that it was six thirty in the morning. Just testing the camera, getting the wood and water and waiting for the girls to appear so they could do it for us :D

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Pages and Pictures

My scrapbook page for the knockout in Scrap Factor over at UKScrappers. Story found here!

Campingtastic! I ran a little photo booth which caused me to run around after Guides all weekend with my camera and then spend the evenings getting them to pick their four favourites before printing them on my little 4x6 photo printer. I printed them in strips of 4, photo-booth-stylee and flogged them for 50p. It went down rather well, if I say so myself.

Vintage tent. Very old-skool.

Photo fun. Guides, it turns out, are inexhaustible posers.


Smores = YUM.

Kisses xxx

P.S. Parents evening tomorrow, school concert last night. Just when, exactly, will the holiday begin?

Monday 4 July 2011

Occasional Day

We had a random inset day at school today so no going into work for me. Hurrah! Good thing too as I was EXHAUSTED after my weekend camping and slept for about 12 hours. But I had an amazing time, took almost 500 pictures and am getting ready to start scrapping!

And speaking of scrapping, I want to share my Scrap Factor page from UKScrappers for last week. Competition is really tough now with fab pages popping up every week. I was in the bottom two (gulp!) but made it through the knockout round (sigh of relief).

Last week's challenge was to take an old page an re-scrap it in your current style. I really loved the idea behind this challenge and I like my new page much better than the old one.

So here it is old-stylee...

This is one of the first pictures I ever scrapped. Actually, I think it was my second ever layout. I used to do all doubles (at some point I switched from doing almost all doubles to almost all singles) and I had put all the photos I could find from several river expeditions all on the same page. I thought I was supposed to and couldn't bear the idea of leaving some out!

I never quite finished it - the strip down the right was meant for journalling, but I was really pleased with the triple matting and layering I did for EVERY photo to match the three colours of stripes in the patterned paper. I hand cut my title because I thought letter stickers were overpriced and I extravagantly tilted one photo onto the diagonal.

Anyway, here's the newbie!

My new page uses just the main photo and I kept the same title, but all else has changed. I'm really pleased that I finally did the journalling as that's really important to me, and I can include any other pictures I want in the album in a divided page protector without feeling that I need to cram them onto the page.

Journalling reads:

"Navigation on the river is virtually aimless beyond a vague desire to float past the Flete flouting our study-free state. Or to find that bit of the river that requires you to get out of the punt, push it up rollers over the bank and then ride it gleefully down to the pool on the other side. It's important to snap Sound-of-Music style photos and to eat cherries. If there are no cherries, there's no cherry-stone spitting contest to see who can hit the bank from the punt. Strawberries are worthless in this context. On a particularly well-planned expedition, we could pick up Ching and a second punt just down the river at Hilda's. Time can then be carefully divided between catcalling the other punt's crashes and extricating oneself from trees and reeds. And we can play pirates, which involves the boarding and comandeering on the other vessel in order to gain possession of the all-important biscuit tin."

Kisses xxx

P.S. Have been bitten by the camping bug an can't wait to go again! I heart Guides! But now bed and a little bit of Paperclipping Roundtable I think...

P.P.S. Thank you so much if you voted for me - I'm loving taking part in Scrap Factor and really appreciate it!