Wednesday 28 March 2012

An Ill-Fated Trip

And a new page to share.  I started this one a couple of weeks ago but what with one thing and another I've only finished it now.  I've just got in from school, it's 10:45pm and I wanted to do a little bit of scrapping before bed.  Sometimes I think you've got to take the creative time where you can get it.

The page was all made except for the journalling and title.  But the journalling was written as it's straight from my Istanbul travel journal and I knew how and where I wanted to the title to go.  It's a short, sweet and silly story of our ill-fated trip to Asia.

On our trip trip to Istanbul in October, my friend and I decided to pop over the river to Asia for the day.  However, the trip wasn't as expected.  We went to hunt for the fresh produce market but despite searching the docks, we only found innumerable shoe-polishing men, perched at their little stations with their little bottles all around them.  We also went to hunt for the main Thursday market.  We found the place, described in Lonely Planet as a sea of tents.  All we got was a sea of car park.  So we wandered a bit, had some tea and called it quits.  And we munched delicious pretzel-bread-things on the way back.

Epic Asia Fail.

Most of the supplies come from the Studio Calico March kit.  I love the little yo-yos by Amy Tangerine and the edge of the diamond paper was crying out to be cut into a banner.  I love the contrast the white border adds to the banner and the white tag framed the photo nicely too.  I usually print my pictures with a white border, but I happened to forget this time.  Waste not want not: I used the photo anyway.

To tie everything together, I trimmed down the background patterned paper and mounted the whole page on white cardstock.  I've never thought of doing this before, but I would definitely do it again.  It helps to anchor the whole design and makes it seem clean and cool, especially with the slightly nautical colour scheme.  Note to self: do this again. 

Another note to self: Rounded corners at the edge of the page create a brilliant vintage photo style frame.  Do this again too.

I don't have a corner rounder but I find drawing round a penny at the corners and then hand cutting works just as well.  And if you want a bigger curve, or a smaller curve, a 2 pence piece or a five pence piece will step up to the breach admirably.

Also, paperclips rule.

I'm definitely rambling now, so I'm going to wind this up and go to bed.  I'll photograph the page and add the pictures to this post tomorrow morning, all being well.  But to the wider world, it will appear as though I assembled this post altogether at once.  Genius.

Be quiet now, Miss Smith and go to bed.

Kisses xxx

P.S. I took my page kit on the teacher conference I went to this weekend and did not have a single spare minute.  We had events from nine in the morning until 11 at night and with the clock change and the Saturday morning 6:00am start, I had hardly any sleep to speak of.  It was insane!  But fantastic too - lots of teachery things to get excited about

P.P.S. I am going to work with my kit anyway.  Three more days until the school holiday!

P.P.P.S. Seriously: BED.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Page Kit Playalong

Inspiring?  Definitely!  I told you camp was muddy :D (That's me at the bottom, cleverly standing on a rock)

Anyway, I'm going to be on the go quite a lot during the next few days and so I've decided to create time for myself to scrap.  I always carry a notebook or two with me for ideas, journalling, sketches and inspiration and this weekend, I'm going to take a page kit with me too.

I wanted to keep it really simple so my supplies won't be too heavy or take up too much space.  And whether I'm at home or away, I hope to be able to pull out these things and work on a page.  So feel free to play along and join in with me the weekend - stick a kit together and let's see what happens!

In my page kit, I've included the following items...

Six patterned papers plus some matching scraps and offcuts.
A tag and a doilly
A fabric embellishment and a chipboard embellishment
Brown embroidery thread
Alphabets in 2 sizes
A border punch
An ink pad
A journalling pen
Washi tape

There will also be my little trimmer, scissors, double sided sticky tape and the brown mist that I forgot to stick in the picture.  Finally you can see the print out of the photo I'm going to be scrapping.  It's the one from above, so I picked out supplies in green and brown with touches of pink and yellow to pull out the colours from the picture.

Once you've grabbed your supplies, snap a shot, and get creating!  But if, when you've nearly finished, you realise you really want to use something extra from your stash, I say go ahead.  After all, that's what stash is for: using and making things pretty!  So feel free to find that extra alpha, that butterfly punch or that perfect length of ribbon.  And enjoy it!

Finally, snap a picture of your page and we're all good to go.  Wish me luck!

Kisses xxx

P.S. Putting this kit together really made me aware of how much stuff I use to make a page.  I don't tend to use loads of any one thing, but I use a little bit of tons of things!  I'm going to take a picture of any extras I end up using after the page is done and see how I did.  Curious... 

Tuesday 20 March 2012

I Heart Mac and Cheese

I love mac and cheese.  It's my favourite.  Slurp.  And I was totally jazzed to find a chap selling it on the street in Camden.  And so I made a page.  Sorted :D

It was awesome actually.  You got to pick your ingredients - I picked mature cheddar for flavour, mozzarella for stringyness and red Leicester for colour.  And he just whipped it up right there.

Simple pleasures, little moments and really yummy food is really what I think scrapbooking is for.  And I really love how this page turned out.  It was one of those that just came together from scraps.  The background is a Sassafras that I adore - part of their Starters line - and the rest was bits and pieces that were lying around.

I also note that this page truly marks my transition from the butterfly-bemused to the butterfly-enthused.  I remember when butterflies stared appearing everywhere and I wasn't a fan to start with.  I couldn't work out why people wanted to associate them with everything as they seemed really themed to me.  Now I have embraced the butterfly as a neutral yet pretty addition to any page.  Even ones about mac and cheese.

I folded all the butterflies in half and only stuck one wing down to give some dimension.  I also raised some of them on little foam squares.  I've been using this technique a lot lately.  I think it's a cute but effective detail.

Kisses xxx

P.S. I had a wonderful weekend at camp with my Guides.  They were angels, got stuck in doing some really yucky volunteering projects (think rats - I did say yucky) and we hardly stopped shrieking with laughter all weekend.  My weekend was assessed and instead of passing me for the Senior Section Permit, they upgraded me to the full Guide Holiday Licence.  Hard work overkill really paid off :D  Now all I have to do is evaluate and claim my badge.

Sunday 18 March 2012

My Mum and Me

When I grow up, I think I'd quite like to become my Mum.  I think it's already happening as we both have too much crafty stuff, we're both teachers an people think I'm her on the phone.  In fact once, years ago, when I was getting ready for school, someone tried to book me for for a day's supply teaching before I could explain I wasn't qualified.  She taught me to play the piano, to cross stitch, to knit, to crochet and to shop for bargains in charity shops.  

She taught me to read and to love books and she's going to teach me to patchwork with the fabric I bought because it was too pretty.  She made curtains for my flat, showed me how to use the sewing machine, and she always knows what to do. She's also got a silly side, which explains these pictures, and probably a lot about me.  We chat on the phone for a few hours every week to catch up with things, and she writes to me every week - she has done since I moved away to uni.  I love her very much and I don't know what I'd do without her.

Happy Mother's Day Mum,

Kisses xxx

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Group Charter

I am drowning in a sea of admin as I prepare to take my Guiding residential licence this weekend.  But I very quickly wanted to share the next page of the Armenia Scrapbook.  I've probably wittered on enough about my upcoming project this summer, so suffice to say, this is a page about my team and our group charter: the set of rules we all agree to live and work by when we're on the project.  You can hop over here to the Armenia 2012 Blog to read more about it.

Most of this stuff came together from my January Studio Calico kit.  I had an extra add-on which had some lovely letter writing paper with it.  That really came in useful here as the background was too dark to write on clearly, and I had a lot to say!  The paper had lines (necessary I assure you) and slotted nicely behind the focal point of the design: the photo, title and embellishment.  I self timed the photo with the camera just on the floor, and it was my favourite picture of the six of us.  I wanted to make sure it had pride of place!

And I cannot get enough of paperclips at the mo.  I picked up these stripy ones at Paperchase and I haven't looked back since.  I like the clipped-together-layers look.

Kisses xxx

P.S. These Thickers are probably my favourite EVER.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Ten Creative Projects on the Tenth

Ten on the Tenth is a monthly roundup that goes on over at Shimelle's blog and we are all invited to share ten things.  Any ten things we like.  Or don't like, I suppose.  So I've chose to share ten creative projects I'm currently working on.


Crochet Granny Circle Blanket


Team Armenia Scrapbook


Herman the German friendship cake
(I don't have a photo because frankly at the moment he looks like a blob of sticky with bubbles in.  But I don't want to hurt his feelings, so shhhh....)


Camp Blanket


Just One Sketch Scrapbooking Class
(Almost finished, one more round-up to follow, but you can still join!)


Turning this recipe into Chocolate Orange cookies for my Year 11s
(This recipe is literally the best cookie recipe EVER and I make it all the time - thanks go to Annie's Eats!)


Senior Section Camping Permit (and Leadership qualification and Queen's Guide Award)


Laura's Engagement Photography (Image found on Pinterest from Whimsical Wonderland Weddings)


My Own Scrapbook


This Blog!  I fully intend to try and get back into the swing of posting here at my Journal of Curious Things.

Kisses xxx

P.S. Yes I have scrapbooking twice, but wouldn't you?

Thursday 8 March 2012

Singin' and Dancin' in the Rain

I treated myself to a theatre ticket at half term and went to see Singin' in the Rain....

Journalling reads:
It was totally amazing!  These posters had been cropping up all over London with this amazing oh-so-casual moment of dance in flight captured.  I LOVE the film and so I hot-footed it to the show.  I hung over the balcony railing as the cast served up 'Make 'em Laugh' and 'Moses Supposes' and we all giggled gleefully as Lina announced "I can't stan' 'im!".  But best was when Lockwood sang and danced Singin' in the Rain.  It poured on stage, water pooled across the floor which lit up beneath his feet and as he danced water sprayed and arced out over the audience.  Spellbinding.  The whole cast got in on the action at the end of the show.  A whole host of umbrellas, flashing differently hued insides; liberal quantities of rain showering the stalls.  Magical!  I am going to go again and sit in the front row.  Try and stop me!

Most of these supplies are from the Studio Calico kit Daydream Believer.  But I wanted to create raindrops scattered across my page.  I used a couple of techniques to achieve this.  First I used the left-over scraps from a border punch that I normally shoot straight into the recycling.  They make cute little blue raindrops.  But the winner I think is the Glossy Accents.  I put little blobs of it in and amongst and it looks like little shining droplets of water. Hurrah for transparent, shiny glue!

Kisses xxx

P.S. Seriously, if you get the chance, go and see it.

P.P.S. I will try never to complain about my Glossy Accents getting clogged up ever again.

Monday 5 March 2012

Our GOLD Journey

You may recall me talking about (or perhaps shrieking about?) the adventure I'm embarking on this summer.  I was selected, along with 47 other young women to represent Girlguiding in the UK, and travel abroad to share our experiences and knowledge of guiding.  In the UK we're incredibly lucky to have a well organised infrastructure which means we can provide amazing opportunities for the half a million or so members.  GOLD, Guiding Overseas Linked with Development, aims to spread the word around the world, giving young women a voice and a girls-only space where they can develop skills and have new experiences.  

The projects run by GOLD are designed to be sustainable and run for 3-5 years.  Once a year, a team of 6 heads out to the country and helps out, working on a volunteer project  to develop sustainable guiding.  This year, teams are heading out to Guyana, the Gambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Latvia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and my own team will be travelling to Armenia.  We didn't pick where we were going or who with, and we're going to work incredibly hard under less-than-comfortable conditions.  But a week ago, we all had our first briefing, met our teams and started planning and I think I can safely say that every single one of us is over the moon to be involved in something so amazing!

So I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce my team to you.  And what better way than by a scrapbook page?

This is my first page about the project and I knew I wanted to get in there with some travel supplies.  And it was a special page too, as being a part of GOLD is something I'm incredibly excited and honored to take part in.  What a great chance to use some special too-nice-to-use supplies?  

I've been hoarding these gorgeous stickers from Evalicious with cute layered buttons and punches, and I also took some pages out of the travel art journal to layer with.  I bought both of these over a year ago but both stickers and journal were so beautiful, I could hardly bear to part with them.  I always knew I wasn't going to use the journal as a journal, but I was going to take it to pieces.  But it looked so pretty all bound together that I put it off. 

But I'm really glad I've now got these supplies out and I'm ready to use them.  This is definitely the right project and I feel there are many more travel themed layouts in my future!  As soon as I stock up on vintage map paper from October Afternoon...

If you want to catch a better glimpse of us posing at the weekend with the Armenian flag, then you can hop over to our GOLD Armenia 2012 blog.  I'm updating our progress, our planning, our preparations and (when I can get internet access) I will write posts about the project when we're out there.

So here's to our GOLD journey!

Kisses xxx

P.S. During our first briefing, we assigned ourselves roles within the team.  A secretary, a treasurer, and so on.  And a documenter.  The documenter's job?  To take the photos.  To update the blog.  And MAKE THE SCRAPBOOK.  I thought my head would explode if I didn't volunteer to be documenter.

P.P.S. Due to my slightly over-excited volunteering to make the scrapbook, I am officially the Team Armenia Documenter :D

Sunday 4 March 2012

Storytelling Sunday: School stories

It's time for Sian's Storytelling Sunday again which means you can grab a tea (or delicious beverage or your choice, naturally.  Or even a not-delicious beverage, but that's your choice and we seem to have gone off on a tangent so I'll get back to the point.  Still with me?  Good.  The point will be arriving any moment now.  Wait for it comes!) and head on over to Sian's to find a whole variety of memories and tales from those who inhabit blogland.

I've got a selection of little anecdotes from school for this week.  One day I'll stick them in my memoirs and give after dinner speeches.  For now, it's enough for me to know that my job, teaching maths, makes me laugh every day.


I'm currently mentoring  a trainee teacher who's doing a placement at our school for a few weeks.  He's taken over some of the teaching of my A-level class.  I perch inconspicuously at the back of the room, generally being responsible and trying to pretend that I'm not there.  Whilst looking encouraging.  However, on a Friday afternoon, he found them to be rather chatty.  Instead of worky.

He waited patiently for the most talkative student to finish his sentence and smiled pleasantly at him.

"Do you ever stop talking?"

The student considered this. "I don't talk the most in this room, sir."

"No?  Who talks the most?"

As one man, the class swiveled around and looked at me.  I quirked an eyebrow back at them.  I knew what would follow.  But before I could do anything, James cheerfully piped up.

"Miss Smith.  Definitely."  They nodded agreement. "She talks all the time and sometimes she runs out of stuff to tell us, but she just looks up more stuff on Wikipedia and tells us that because she says its interesting.  Last time it was fridge magnets*."

This was sadly true.

You can't argue with the truth.  I carried on pretending not to be there.


Overheard in the corridor....

The teacher frowned at the student before him and inquired, "So why did you take his pencil, Andrew?"

"Because he was annoying me."

The teacher persevered.  "And was that a sensible thing to do?"

"No, sir."

"What should you have done if he was annoying you?" the teacher prompted.

The student glared up at him.  "I should have broken his pencil."


The Year 7s seemed a little downcast after the student council meeting.  Why?

"I don't think people took us seriously miss."

"What makes you say that?"

"All the older students laughed at us when we said we wanted bigger balls."  His expression darkened. "I don't think they thought we meant footballs, miss."


And what did the Year 9s ask for in the student council?

"We wanted to talk about safety in the corridors miss.  All the year sevens are about this big-" he gestured perhaps three feet off the ground, "-and they all run around in big groups and today a load of them ran into me in the corridor."

I assumed a sympathetic expression. "What did you do?"

"I fell over, miss."


Back later during the week with some craftyness - yay!  A quiet weekend and a bit of free time is all you need sometimes.

Kisses xxx

P.S. The fridge magnets thing is a long story for another time.  Just to clarify, I do not collect fridge magnets. Nor do I wish to start doing so.  But I would like to know who first saw a fridge door and thought to themselves; "Hey!  What this really needs is a magnet..."