Thursday 23 February 2012

A little scrapbooking inspiration

I love the internet.  Not in a weird way, but I do love that there is so much pretty on it.  There is lovely scrapbooking inspiration everywhere and I wanted to share a few of my favourite things at the moment.

First of all, I'm loving the videos over at Two Peas.  There's a new one up most days, and my favourites are the lovely Shimelle's Glitter Girl videos (just who is Glitter Girl????) and the Memory Keeping Monday videos.  I wanted to share the most recent one of these particularly because there were so many frankly awesome page ideas.

Speaking of Shimelle, she's got a new class up over at Two Peas too.  There's always something worth having there I think :D

Next, I wanted to mention the Paperclipping Roundtable.  I often play one of these scrapbooking podcasts in the car on my way to work.  And even when I think the topic isn't for me, I always anjoy listening and find something to inspire me.  One I loved recently was about the balance between art and journalling on pages, and  so I thought I'd share a link.

And then there's photography.  Pinterest.  Enough said: for inspiration, I love it.  But there are also gems to be found on the scrapbooking front.  A few months ago, I saw this post by Amy Tan on her blog about a cute little travel printer she uses.  I ummed and ahhhed and in the end I went for it and bought one.  I'm so glad I did as I'm scrapping photos from this awesome little printer at the moment - they're adorable and polaroid/instax style and I love them to pieces.  The style of the photos inspires the pages I'm making with them and is a bit of a change from the standard pictures.

Having all these different sources of inspiration is like having my own personal scrapbooking magazine that covers every imaginable topic.  So here's to you, you crazy internet.

And finally, I booked my tickets for the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show.  Mum and I are going on the Saturday and I'm totally looking forward to it!  I fully intend to hunt down that punch and start my own confetti jars...

Kisses xxx

P.S. If you have any other sources of stuff-you-love-for-scrapbooking, please share.  I LOVE.

P.P.S. Any one else heading to the show?

Sunday 19 February 2012

Half Term Happiness

Hello poor neglected little blog.  I missed you!  But I've been working hard on preparing things for Just One Sketch, my scrapbooking class.  We're nearing the end of class now and it's the last week, so I'll have a little more time for you now.  

This is a sneak peak of a page I made for Scrap 365 magazine.  I saw a call-out on their blog and I was totally excited to submit a page to be published.  In fact, I'm going to snuggle in bed soon with a cuppa and the magazine and try not to think about getting up at 6:30am again now half term is over.

So what's gone on this week?  My parents visited for a couple of days and we took in a concert and wandered around bits of London.  I had a Harry Potter film marathon with friends (19 hours!!!!!).  I baked Quidditch biscuits.  More on that once I've made a scrapbook page :D  I've met up with various friends for tea, been to see The Artist at the cinema (it's fab!) and had one of my patented 'Kirsty's perfect days'.  Which means I go into London, read a lovely trashy novel on the tube, have tea at my favourite place and finish my marking for school, have lunch at my favourite restaurant, visit Covent Garden to get take-away tea and a giant cookie and listen to the busking musicians and watch the people, and then crown with a West End show.  I saw Singin in the Rain.  It's AMAZING.  Anyway, I took lots of pics and will scrap that too at some point.

I'm half way through my fundraising for my Girlguiding GOLD project in Armenia and we're going to have our first briefing this weekend.  Plus school.  Plus back to blogging.  Life is good!

Hope you all had lovely half terms,

Kisses xxx

P.S. Scrapbooking class Just One Sketch is still open to take at any time!  For more info, you can follow the link here, and remember, all the money goes to charity to support my fundraising!

Sunday 5 February 2012

Storytelling Sunday: A textbook tangle

It's the first Sunday of the month which means one thing: it's Storytelling time over at Sian's blog; From High in the Sky.  You can hop over there to see lots of stories from the lives of scrappers and bloggers and crafters across the globe.  But first I hope you'll join me for a school story from the last fortnight or so.

A Textbook Tangle

(or: Reasons why Miss Smith should stop making things up to amuse her students)

A good maths textbook is worth its weight in gold.  Because at the end of the day, no matter how many bells and whistles your lesson has, maths is like any other skill.  You have to practise it.  And a textbook saves you a great deal of time making up questions.

Our textbooks are written by a chap called David Rayner.  For the most part, there are sensible, in black and white with neat rows of maths questions marching down the page.

But every so often there’s a surprise...


On of my Year 7s hands waved into the air.

"What's good in da hood, sunshine?"

"What, miss?"

"How can I help?"

"Do we have to do question 18?"

I plucked my textbook from the desk and sauntered over to him, reading.

The banana man of Tesco became famous after he realised that he could earn money buying bananas from the supermarket.  The store's reward point system had a mistake so that every time the man bought a pound of bananas for £1.26, he received £1.43 in points.  The supermarket were effectively paying him to take away the fruit.  The gentleman loaded his car with bananas, took them to his own shop and then returned to get more.  He bought a total of 728lbs of bananas.
a) How much did he spend on the bananas?
b)What was his total profit?
c) What was the weight of the bananas in kilograms?
d) Do you like bananas?

"Of course you have to do question 18.  And show all your working.  Neatly."

"But miss, even part d)?"


He grinned at me. "But I can't show my working for that, can I?"

"Oooh, I think you can.  Now, as we're in maths, I'm not really interested in your subjective opinion like in English or something.  So you could consider the problem in the light of a statistical study.  For instance, consider a twelve-month period.  If you can reference a particular number of number of banana consumption incidents where the enjoyment frequency was high then you can probably conclude, within a certain margin of error, that you like bananas.

"However, if you haven't eaten any bananas in the last 12 months, it doesn't automatically mean that there's no banana satisfaction factor.  It might simply mean that no opportunities for banana consumption existed.  So your data would be inconclusive and you could instead conduct a series of trials during the coming week and hand your exercise book in after that.

"If, on the third hand, you have documented cases of banana refusal due to prior unpleasant experience, you many assume that banana dislike is the cause.  Similarly, cases of banana-induced vomiting may be indicative of dislike.  Or food poisoning.

"So, that's the minimum I expect you to show.  Any questions?"




"I like banana milkshake".


There are others.  When I regaled Y9 with the banana question, they eagerly reminded me about a particular question 3 in the review exercise.  There's a picture of lots of people squashed higgledy-piggledy into a car and the accompanying question reads: "You can see the legs of one girl poking out of the front window.  What is she saying to the person on her right?".  When you look up the answer in the answer book it says that the correct solution is: "You do the steering wheel and I'll operate the break".

Incidently, there are no suggested answer the banana question.

I like to imagine that David, writing textbooks for a living, occasionally gets a bit fed up and slips something like this in just to see if he can get it under the radar.  After all, we all do silly things from time to time.  Some of us even do silly things regularly.  But these occasional nonsense questions betoken a dry sense of humour in the author that amuses me when it peeps through.


"I love David Rayner" I announced to me Year 9s.  Apropos of nothing in particular.

"But miss, he's really boring and he writes maths textbooks."

I turned a severe expression on the student. "He is not boring.  In fact, he is a rock star."


"Yes!  Well, metaphorically speaking.  He's the rock star of the maths textbook world."

"Small world"


"Nothing, miss.  Sorry."

"I should think so to.  Anyway, he must be a rock star, because he has an entourage."

"How do you know?"

"It says so in the front of the book.  Images credited to some ladies called Emma, Amy, Sheen and Paulina.  They're his entourage and they do the pictures."

"Miss, the pictures in the book are rubbish.  There's one here of a CD being dipped in milk.  And the question next to it is about VAT"

He had a point.

I conceded gracefully. "OK, so maybe the pictures are a bit...weird but at least it's got pictures.  And David Rayner really only hired them to do pictures because, as the rock star of the maths textbook world, he needed an entourage.  And so he's got Amy, Emma, Sheena and Paulina.  One wears plusses, one minuses, one timeses and one divide signs, and he goes to rock star parties with two on each arm."

"I bet he's old miss."

I have no idea how old he is, but I wasn't prepared to back down in my defence of David Rayner. "Nah, he's 28" I invented cheerfully.

"Yeah, he's probably bald too.  With a beard."

When you're 13, having a beard is apparently a sign of great age.

"I wonder what he sounds like?" one student enquired.

I glared at them collectively.  "Look, he's 28 and not bald with no beard and he has a lovely Scottish accent."


"Because he lives in a castle in Scotland.  He's Scottish."

"Miss, do you know him?"

"Er... no.  Not exactly.  But I've Googled him.  Nothing came up though.  But I'm going to marry him one day.  And we're going to set up our own school in the castle in Scotland and use his textbooks to teach people maths.  And probably some other stuff as well, but I'm not qualified for that."

Bizarrely, this they seemed to accept.  Quiet reigned for about 30 seconds.

"He probably spends all his time playing bowls miss."

"David Rayner does not play bowls!  Now enough!  Get on!"


They started to request stories about the infamous David Rayner during lessons.  So I made them up.  It was easy.  And it kept them quiet and amused and everyone was happy.  Only this week, my Year 9s arrived to their lesson in a state of barely concealed state of glee.  They informed me proudly that they have started their own David Rayner appreciation website.  And one can like it on Facebook if one is so inclined.

They showed me.

Fortunately, they have not mentioned me.

This week, this all serves as a reminder that I should be careful what I say to the students.  You never know what's going to stick.  I just, on occasion, wish it was the maths.

Kisses xxx

P.S. My Year 9s have just finished their last David Rayner textbook and will be moving onto a GCSE textbook.  It’s written by somebody called Smith.  My Year 9s took this as a sign that it’s meant to be.

P.P.S. I asked my Mum if she thinks the website would count as libel, but she said probably not.  It’s (mostly) flattering.  So if you’re reading Mr Rayner, I’m sorry.  But I am genuinely a fan. 

P.P.P.S. I kind of hope he isn’t reading.