Sunday 26 January 2014

still gold

At the beginning of the month, I had a reunion with my GOLD team: the girls I spent a year planning out voluntary project in Cambodia with, and the girls I spent an amazing three weeks with helping Cambodian Guiders.

It was great to catch up, and while we only see each other sporadically, we had a brilliant time catching up and it always feels as though no time has passed at all.  I posted the photo here as part of One Photo and Twenty Words.

Another couple of envelopes make an appearance: I used one to hold the journalling and one that I 'addressed' with all our names.  All the other elements are arranged on the diagonal.

I popped up the hand-cut title on little foam squares to make it stand out and then scattered a few embellishments here and there.  A little peg, obviously, and a selection of stickers, arrows, clips and a little chipboard geotag.  They were pretty cute!

Yep, I'm still not tired of little envelopes, my black squirly pen and project life cards.  And the little photos I print at home using a Fujifilm Pivi Printer.  I love the Instax-style Polaroidy look.  

Kisses xxx

P.S. January is shooting by and I think I've now found my way of keeping all the emphemera from the month in an appropriately scrapbooky way.  And thinking that I have a way of organising and saving it makes me more inclined to pick up business cards and bits and pieces when I'm out and about.  I've got quite the stash!

Wednesday 22 January 2014

london in the dark

I love living in this wonderful city, and there's so much to see every time I head out whether it's a weekend exploration or, as on Tuesday night, a lovely trip to the ballet.  I spent some Christmas money on a ticket to see Matthew Bourne's production of Swan Lake at Sadler's Wells and it was a magical evening.  There's nothing like the excitement of slipping out of work early and hopping a tube into town to go to the theatre... Plus it's a really incredible show.  In fact last night was my second viewing.  I went a few years ago and fell in love with it.  It's unique: elegant, violent, funny and heart-rending.

I go to the theatre quite a bit because I cannot resist the allure and the glamour; the escapism and the sheer thrall of it.  But I don't often write about it here or scrap about it because you aren't allowed to take pictures in the theatre (and fair enough, really).  So I set out on Tuesday with the deliberate intention of getting some photos from the evening's outing on the principle that if you look about you enough, there's always a photo that can be...graphed?

Kisses xxx

P.S. I don't usually take many photos in the portrait orientation and a lot of that is because they don't display on the blog very well.  So I made a point of only snapping portrait shots on Tuesday night and I love pairing them to show detail and wider shots together in a way that still gives me a landscape composition overall.

P.P.S. I love photography!

Monday 20 January 2014

hot and mulled: a winter wine conundrum

It's possible I've gone a little envelope obsessed, but I still can't get enough of building a page this way.  I love the idea of having an 'adressed' envelope with a stamp and a twirly message all tied up with twine.  And I'm finding that I can finally get all the journalling I want into  page in a way that's accessible and  makes my handwriting visible, but doesn't mean that the entire layout is taken up with writing.  Again with the dinky envelopes!

I got in another hand-cut title or two and used a grid design to square up all the elements of the page.  The story is all about the times we've spent enjoying mulled wine this winter from a cheeky first look at the end of October, through to "hot wine" slurped in Prague.  I wanted the page to have a wintry feel so I painted a background in white and blue (which also helps to tone down the black and white zig-zag).

I added a spritz or two of blue mist to some white acrylic paint, mixing them a little, but leaving a few streaks of darker blue colour running through the white.  I spread it thickly and used a knife to get broader strokes of paint spread across the page.  I actually painted onto acetate which had a couple of advantages: it won't wrinkle like paper does and once it was dry, I could place it over lots of different papers and backgrounds to get different effects.  The pain is a little translucent in places and I like that some of the paper pattern is still visible through it. And the texture is lovely :D

And squirly writing.  Squirly, by the way, is an excellent and terribly underused word.  I've been enjoying wielding a pen to make pretty, squirly writing a great deal.  So I've signed up for the Life, Scripted class at Studio Calico with my Christmas money (Thanks Mum&Dad!).  Looking forward to that next month!

And more project life cards make an appearance.  Seriously, it's like pretty paper already cut up for you and you get LOADS of variety.  Much love.

Kisses xxx

P.S. January is really shooting past.  Crazy!  It seems like a lot has happened already and I've been saving tickets and business cards and leaflets... I want to come up with a way of sensible and conveniently keeping the ephemera this year.  I'll work on it :D

Tuesday 14 January 2014

skate at somerset house

In my last blog post, I shared a page inspired by postal-themed supplies where I wanted each piece of the design to look like it could have tumbled out of an envelope. I loved making it so much that I wanted to try it again!

I have also been enjoying trying out different kinds of hand lettering and hand-cutting titles and I love how just being a bit creative with a black pen can have a big impact on my pages.  So that's something I think I'm going to keep experimenting with!

This page tells the story of my annual Christmas Shindig Weekend where I invite all my friends to crash at mine for the weekend and we eat too much, laugh to much and get unreasonable competitive over the board game Articulate.  This year, we all went ice skating at Somerset House because I thought it would be twinkly and sparkly and Christmassy.  And it was.  Plus it was hilarious and gave us the chance to fill the obligatory "annual ice skating quota: do a full lap without holding on and fall over".  There's a quote to treasure!  

The journalling can slide inside the envelope and I have lots of photos to put in a divided page protector facing the layout.

In other news: I LOVE tiny pegs.  That's not going away :D

Kisses xxx

P.S. The boyfriend and I went to see Cirque du Soleil this weekend and it was INCREDIBLE!  And now I've been to the circus, that's another thing on my list of things to accomplish before I'm 30!

Friday 10 January 2014

prague...or london in the rain

Back in November, the boyfriend and I went to Prague for a few days for our first holiday together and it was lovely.  It's also high time I scrapped about it as I've been wanting to get cracking with the pictures for a while!

I wanted to try out a few new ideas with this page.  So I hand drew and hand cut one title, and then drew the the hand-lettering on the envelope.  I like the post-style theme and I wanted the page to look like all the bits and pieces had just tumbled out of the envelope.

Tying the envelope up with string continues the post theme, along with the recycled stamp! The little envelopes also gave me a great opportunity to hide the journalling, which is quite personal, but still to keep my writing on show.  It's easy to pull out the little letter inside if you want to read it. but looking more casually at the page you would get an impression of writing without my thoughts being spilled all across the page.  All I needed was a little instant photo to finish!

I really enjoyed putting this page together around a design theme as it gave me a focus and I had a direction in mind.  Plus once again, I loved using the Project Life cards on a 12x12 page.  So I'm going to experiment with this a bit more!

Kisses xxx

P.S. First week back at school always makes me sleeeeeeeepy!!!

Thursday 9 January 2014

one photo & twenty words

I've known these girls for less than a year. We've become so close and pick up where we leave off.


One photo and twenty words is hosted by Abi at Creating Paper Dreams.  Pay her a visit - she's lovely :D

P.S. I miss Team Cambodia but it's so exciting to hear about next year's team starting to prepare to carry on the project!  Yay Girlguiding!

Tuesday 7 January 2014

before I'm 30 I will...(update)

Happy New Year! Time for a new year's update!  Back in September, I blogged a list of goals that I wanted to achieve before I turn 30.  Some are silly but fun and some have a little more dignity and may actually lead to, like, maturity and personal growth and stuff.  I've still got a good 3 years or so to work on these, so rather than making new year's resolutions, I'm going to share my progress. 

The other thing I should mention is that I keep thinking of things that would be brilliant to try, so I keep adding to the list in the belief that if it's on the list, I must do it. Highlighted ones are complete and where relevant link back to blog posts :D

#1 Make cake pops
#2 Make a multicoloured layer cake
#3 Go on a canal boat
#4 Play Dungeons and Dragons
#5 Play hooky for a day
#6 Get a film projector and screen films in my own little cinema
#7 Go on a sleeper train
#8 Have tea at the Ritz
#9 And Claridges
#10 See 2 West End shows in a day
#11 Make a photo wall display
#12 Build a den.  A really cool one.
#13 Road trip around the USA
#14 New York, New York
#15 Go glamping in a fancy tent with fairy lights
#16 Buy an expensive set of lingerie
#17 Sew something to wear
#18 Get married
#19 Make a set of jam-jar cocktail glasses
#20 Make blueberry gin
#21 Play ultimate sandwich
#22 Learn how design this blog the way I wish it looked
#23 Make a scrapbooking video for the blog
#24 Make a stop-motion animation
#25 Learn to make pasta
#26 Get up early to photograph the sunrise over London
#27 Swim in the Hampstead ponds
#28 Stay out all night in London
#29 Do the monopoly pub crawl
#30 Play the tube game
#31 Have dinner at Dans le Noir
#32 Re-vamp some second hand furniture
#33 Go to a cult Rocky Horror screening
#34 Go to a burlesque show
#35 Go ape
#36 Go to a Secret Cinema screening
#37 See a play at Cornwall's Minack Theatre
#38 Go on a helicopter
#39 Get an ice cream maker (and make malteaser, peanut butter and caramel flavour)
#40 Have dinner at Dishoom
#41 Go to the Roadhouse Diner
#42 Buy a bikini
#43 Make my own flair
#44 Get my eyebrows shaped
#45 Inhale helium
#46 See the Northern Lights
#47 Go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
#48 See New Zealand
#49 Stay in a tree house
#50 Have a bash at karaoke
#51 Go to a roller derby
#52 Go skinny dipping
#53 Ride a motorbike
#54 See a film at a drive-in cinema
#55 Go to a sh*t-faced Shakespeare production
#56 Make 3 cushions using 3 different fabric techniques
#57 Get a piano
#58 Make spun sugar
#59 Have a go at spinning
#60 Go for Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea

#61 Go to the circus
#62 Learn to knit from a chart
#63 Knit a lace pattern
#64 Start a teacup collection
#65 Go on a Segway
#67 See a midnight matinee at the Globe
#68 Play hide and seek in Ikea
#69 Visit the Cutty Sark

I think I will be having some fun!  Especially when I know that  few of these are imminent and already booked and just waiting to go...

Do you have resolutions or goals?  Do you find them motivating or depressing?  Obviously I'm a fan, and I know it's not for everyone, but if you do make a list, I recommend including something fun that's just for you to enjoy; to give yourself a reason to make time to do something for yourself.  Self-improvement is all very well, but it's also nice to have a plan to do something daft for that rainy day. A plan I can apparently keep adding to!

Meanwhile, I hope your new year is exciting and hopeful and full of lovely things.

Kisses xxx

P.S. Perhaps another goal ought to be getting better at blogging about the things I actually do from the list.  I blame the poor lighting in winter which is responsible for limited photos and therefore limited posting.

P.P.S. Do you think I should read anything into the fact that I seem to have made most progress on the things involving cake?