Sunday, 27 January 2013

Snow Happy.

Snow Happy is definitely how I felt stopping on the way to work and looking over the snowy fields towards Exmoor. Just stunning and the sun coming out was a bonus and made it light up magically.

Over at Lucky Snapping Lynne asked us whether we were ever just happy? I find I am, I would never say that I skip through life in a continual happy state but I am a firm believer in noticing things and taking pleasure in it and those little things make me happy, I would say I have happy moments every day.

Today, Mum and Ali and I walked down by the sea.
 Seeing Ali look around him at what is going on. Seeing Mum rattling along.
Ali taking photos on his DS of Fudge.
The council have cemented in some footprints with Ilfracombe, Curious Coastal Charm (our bonkers logo) on them. I am intrigued as to whether there is any particular purpose for them, I think they are directing people to the nature walks, but I would love it if there were lots to 'find'.

 A splash of colour.
Signs of Spring.
Home again.
Snuggle up in the warm.

As I say it's the little things isn't it?

As I say standing up overlooking North Devon to Exmoor was a happy moment, so I scrapped it.
I am using up as much stash as I can, I don't have very much but a bit and I am trying to use up what I have, especially if I can make room for new collections. I really, really, really, really want the MME Collectable line when it arrives here ;)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Beat The Christmas Rush.

Oh noooo don't run away...'s all fine, it's just being crafty and making lovely cards to give to nice people, it's using nice pretty paper and glue and maybe some stamping, maybe some washi-wonder-tape, maybe even doing some therapeutic colouring-in. 

...see, it's a great thing, it's just a little odd that they are christmas cards. 
You will likely fall into two categories. You have already made 5 or so cards and do so every year and are rolling your eyes at how late I am to the prepared-for-christmas-2013 party orrrr you feel that it is a touch too soon :D Well of course it is and it isn't, of course. 
The thing I find is that christmas scrapping/crafting should never be about christmas cards (unless it is your favourite discipline and then I am preaching to the converted), if you are like me then it is just a chore by November and my favourite scrappy folk get a card and anyone else I have energy for may get one, the rest I buy. So actually Beat The Christmas Rush makes perfecto sense.
Every month at Creative Craft World we will host the challenge to remind you and inspire you to do it, we are going to go for 5 a month and that will give me ummm a few and if you do 1 a month you will have 12, so that is a start. Ok, I just got my calculator and calendar out and of course it is 11 if you do 1 a month (Royal Mail have enough trouble without posting them on the 25th December to arrive the 25th December), but if you do 5, well that is 55 and that is near enough for me. As most of us find a design and make a few to 'factory-line' them out, 5 seems a good amount, before they get samey and our eyes drift towards something else we want to play with. Or is that just me?
So go on, dig back out your favourite christmas papers and make a few and then please show us that you joined in to Beat The Christmas Rush :)
In fact show us here. We would love to see them.

My cards are Papermania kraft and white blanks. Papers are MME All Is Bright and BG Jovial (favourite ever). Washi from MME All Is Bright. Stamp is unfortunately unknown and I used different ink and Perfect Pearls. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

I'll love you 'til.

A fab challenge from Suzy on UKS this week. You can see it and join in here.
I used a couple of lines from As I Walked Out One Evening by WH Auden, beautiful poem.

As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   'Love has no ending.

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

'The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

'In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

'In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver's brilliant bow.

'O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you've missed.

'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

'O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

'O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on. 

I love the line 'I'll love you til the ocean is folded and hung up to dry' especially.
MME Lost & Found 3 Ruby, acrylic paint, Simple Stories Sn@p and American Crafts Thickers DIY'ed with paint and embossing powder.

That was a nice way to spend a couple of hours with the snow falling again outside the window.

Friday, 18 January 2013

What would you like for your birthday?

A couple of weeks ago I told family and friends that I would like snow, last weekend I was joking to everyone at work that I would really like some snow...

I was 13 the last time it snowed on my birthday and I was so excited and surprised as I didn't know it was coming, it gave me quite a fright actually when I pulled back my grey, white and pink nineties geometric curtains to let the light into my oh-so-sophisticated grey, white and pink room ;)
I was thrilled with my birthday present, a pair of grey 'baggies', an early form of combat trousers I suppose and a pair of red suede boots with eyelet lace-ups. There haven't been many shoes since that stole my heart like those. Boy did they look great against the snow, yes it was a bad idea wearing them, my Mum and Granny warned me but that wasn't going to stop me. I remember slip-sliding down to the high street and meeting up with everyone and enjoying a magical day, a magical birthday...

Fast Forward 26 years, I have just worked that out twice, just to be sure that it's not like 16 years or 6 or 10 minutes ago.

I sat at my desk late last night, I had the right hand curtain open on my right hand side so I could see the dark illuminated by the street lamp, I checked every couple of minutes to see if there were any snow-flakes or dreaded rain. There was a film on which I barely paid attention to, I was selecting photos and papers to work on a new challenge, I kept turning to the right and... was that one? Yes and there is another and there are just a few drifting down. 
It is about 00:30 and it has snowed on my birthday. 
As it starts to come down heavier the street lamp goes out for the night, thank goodness, otherwise I think I could have sat there all night.

I have been very lucky today.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Project Life 2013

Well I didn't blog my project life last year after about week 40 but I did keep going with it and I was so chuffed to get to the end of a whole year. It is one of my most treasured possessions now because my memory is shocking and all the little bits and pieces are either now in my brain (due to repetition of seeing them) or, most likely, in the album. 

So onto 2013. I have changed things slightly to make it easier. I bought some Simple Stories sn@p collection back in November/December time ready to go. Although I will probably still do as much of my own thing as I can to use up scraps, I have something for the weeks I don't have time or energy. Last year I enjoyed having different looks but this year I am going to make things fairly similar. Easy with sn@p as there are so many colours and white and cream and kraft

Week 1 LHS Blurred to protect the innocent or insane.
I also am not corner rounding *gasp* there are a few project lifers out there that don't but not many. I am not trying to be different, I am trying to be quick. It is just a step I want to skip for the moment. I am ok with how it looks at the moment but I may switch it back. 
Week 1 RHS

Another thing I want to do is use all type A divided pockets as last year I had a mix and I was always struggling for portrait photos so I am doing all landscape for the moment. Again, I haven't got a problem changing that to a mix if I get bored of the one type. 
Week 2 LHS
 I also have a new printer which actually prints 6x4 photos in a much better quality and borderless so they actually fit and I don't have to mat them. 
Week 2 RHS
I have downloaded Cathy Zielske's Week In Review cards, she shows how to use them here and also where to get them. I can just about make them myself, but a) I wanted to give her some cash as she has taught me a lot over the photoshop learning curve and b) hers are of course superior :D
The last thing is that I am making sure I use my day one app (which is a journal) entries are about the little things that have happened as well as how i'm feeling etc which has really worked so far. 
So i'll see how we go, I still love how it comes out, love the process and love looking back.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Serendipity: Crivens!

When our 365+1 photo challenge was over we decided to keep our gang going with a new blog and challenge, Lucky Snapping. We are all contributing and this week Anne challenged us to look for a serendipity moment.


The act of finding something valuable or delightful when you aren't expecting it.

This week I have taken as my serendipity the utter bliss that has been reading The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett to Ali. 

He is a tough audience, not much captures his imagination thoroughly. In fact I can't remember any other time that he has not interrupted, told me the story his way, asked questions, told me what was good and not so good. This book (which is one of my favourites as well) was completely different. He just lay quietly with his eyes wide open. One evening I read for two hours, I was enjoying it and I thought it was about 45 minutes. It certainly doesn't get him off to sleep, which was the original plan ;)

Crivens! has long been a favoured exclamation of mine and along with "ye daftie" has now become part of our family language and I love that.

Anne inspired me to have a go at getting messy and painty which I did watching and following a lovely youtube video by Rachel, which I basically used to lift the page entirely. Except, I don't have all the art gear so I had to improvise.

720p from Jennie Hart on Vimeo.

I have added instagrams of the book cover to finish the layout.

Next time I will do something different with the title as it didn't go quite to plan, it has given me the taste to do more though so I guess that is a good thing.
Thanks for a great challenge Anne :)
Chapter 7 tonight.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Storytelling Sunday: Pick your precious|Limoges Pot

I am so glad that Sian is hosting Storytelling Sunday for a third year and I really like the idea of the theme of Pick Your Precious; choose something precious and tell a story of it in words and/or pictures. I am terribly late this week due to running out of ink and then time, the linky is still open though so i'm joining in here.

I was lucky enough to visit Paris with the school when I was thirteen, not sure how many, but a coachload of us. Things I remember; driving through London (or the first time since I was little) in the dark and the thousand butterflies in my tummy at the sight of so many buildings and being so far from home; standing on the back of the cross-channel ferry willing myself to not be sick for 40 minutes and seeing the french coast; dunking bread rolls in bowls of hot chocolate for breakfast; sharing a chalet with one half of a twin and swapping beds half-way through the night so the twins could be re-united; standing in awe on the steps of Fontainebleu; the Sacre-Coeur; a brand new sweater with a french logo especially to go with, oh-la-la.

My grannies and my parents had given me spending money and there was more than enough for bits and bobs (and illicit bottles of coke I seem to recall) and so I wanted something special. I was talking to Mr Greenstreet about it on the coach and he said he would see what he could do. I am pretty sure it was Sacre-Coeur visiting day that we had lunch in a park with shops all around and he saw a shop that might be just the thing. We went over and I spied these dear little Limoges pots, the one in the layout, and a larger oval one and a thimble (I collected them). He agreed and thought they were just right and something to treasure. 

He helped me with the money I believe they were about 130F all together but my memory and knowledge of french currency isn't all it could be ;)

 Thanks for reading my story today :)

Papers and flowers from Prima, navy-blue mulberry paper a pressie from my Auntie Pat and I used my new melt-pot fun-toy to make the embellies.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Playtime!: Creative Craft World January Scrapmap.

So, last time I wondered what lovely things 2013 would bring and...drum roll please...Ta-Dah! A lovely email from Lou at Creative Craft World to let me know I had been chosen to join their Design Team. I am so thrilled and nervous in equal measures.

The first saturday of each month is time for the monthly Scrapmap. There is a great sketch to follow and if you join in you have the chance to win a guest spot on the design team. 
You can find the challenge here on the blog.

Well this photo is old, ugh, I know this as those boys barely fit on my lap, well Louis certainly doesn't. The little dookie in his play gym can just about fit.
I also know this as I would never take a photo where the subject wasn't actually in the main part of the photo ;)
This was a normal day in our house at the weekend. To gain myself some chore time I would bring out the big guns. The baby-gym and the bucket of train and track. 

It would gain me an hour as Louis built and played with the track. He would build an '8' with two bridges and then set off the motorised trains Thomas (of course) and James around it. Well his eyes would grow an inch or two and he would leap from one part of the track to another, one minute on his toes with his hands on his knees, the next on his tummy, eye-balling the train as it choo-chooed towards him.

Ali would have had his 10am feed and would be just changed and ready for a bat at the gym. At this point he could grasp the giraffe with the extending vibrating neck and would be transfixed by trying to repeat that and watching it wibble-wobble back. After 20 minutes he would be spark-o and we would put the blanket over him.
What a great sketch, I had fun scrapping an old photo.
I used my Martha Stewart Punch Around The Page punch to get the starry negative effect and used the 'confetti' to make the embellishment.

 Thanks again to the Creative Craft World team =) Oh, and now i'm one of them.